Heretics of Tarantia Initial Impressions[spoiler]


Spoiler ALERT !

Overall, well done. The plot is logical and has no holes in it. The villains are smart enough to avoid exposing themselves carelessly (Constantus takes pains to avoid being exposed by Psychometry). I like the fact the game flow is couched in terms of "if the players survive" as opposed to "when the players defeat the foes".

I did have a few questions:

Urestes - killed by a poison arrow, the characters might examine the arrow in which case a DC (Heal ?) should be present to discover the poison. It is also possible that Urestes might not die if a player shovels a Golden Wine of Xuthal down his throat immediately (unlikely, but possible). What would Urestes do then ?

Essenic - Essenic's stats indicate he is armed with a greatsword (in the attacks section), but his equipment and feats indicate he should be using a broadsword. Which is it ? Essenic also doesnt have Poison Use feat which makes his use of the poison arrow risky. If the players use Mind Reading on Essenic, they could gain clues very quickly possibly enough to identify Constantus in Meeting in the Twilight, in which case they might try to wack him on sight.

Constantus: What is his corruption level ?

Lord Nadanidus: What is his corruption level ? He is listed as having an ahkbitanian broadsword [AP5] which should be [AP8] after all modifiers. He has only 4 feats listed, but should have 7 from his level and race. His move is listed a 30', but should be 25' in his brestplate. Considering Nadanius is hiding his true nature from Constantus, would he reveal his scholarly abilities in front of Constantus unless his life was in mortal danger ?

Taspius: He is listed as having an ahkbitanian arming sword [AP4] which should be [AP8] after all modifiers. Considering his ranged weapon feats, he ought to have a ranged weapon on hand.

The Serpents Lair: A map scale would of been nice. The door from room 12 to 13 is listed as a secret door in the text, but a regular door on the map. Which is correct ?
For room 7, the text on page 27 says there are 10 members of the Brotherhood, not including Constantus. However, there are 11 prieists not including Constantus, listed in the roster on page 28. Furthermore, Barthias is a member of the Brotherhood, although not present in the Serpents Lair. Was the Brotherhood membership 10 members + Constantus, or just 10 members + Constantus present in the Serpents Lair ? In either case the numbers of priests in room 7 need to be adjusted if the text on page 27 is correct.

It would appear the fight in the lair will be extremely tough considering the numbers of foes with many of them capable of DB. I would be interested to hear how groups fare.

Overall, well worth the money. I look forward to running it.

Mad Dog
Thanks for the info, I skip some parts of your post to avoid spoilers. I'm thinking about getting this one.

Does the adventure include stuff like maps? Thanks!
There are 2 maps on the inside covers.

It looks like a tough adventure. The players better have thier $hit together.

Mad Dog
I also picked up this adventure the other day, and though I have not done the number crunching that MadDog did, I have some comments on the adventure.
First off overall I think it is excellent, and I thnk after reading it over that it will be a difficult adventure.
Some issues I see, one the maps are not exactly easy to read, at least for those of us who wear an extra set of eyes so to speak. A fold out or small poster would have been even nicer. I have not seen an option to change the setting to other than King Conan's Reign, Though it appears to be relatively easy to do so, for my self I am starting a game set during Conn's reign and intend to use the adventure with only minor changes in general.
Not a complaint but merely a comment, even though I suppose the adventure could be run without the Aqualonia book that book is very beneficial to add depth and detail filling out the thin areas of the module.

Overall as I started this out I like the module and if I were scoring it I would have to say 4 out of five stars or perhaps considering the game maybe 4 out of 5 Swords.
This is a great module. The adventure can be easily dropped into nearly any other land with some mods.

My only compliant is the maps and the lack of scale.
I'm going to be a bit controversial here; and I'm not specifically getting at Maddog, but I would like to comment about the whole issue of "official rulings". This sort of thing happened back in the 70' s with D & D; but always boiled down to the fact that the game was whatever the GM said it was. Not all NPC's have to be statted to the most efficent for their race and level etc. Maybe they didn't have time to do the needed training. If Lord N. has only 4 feats (but the rules say he should have 7) then there is probably a reason why he didn't learn those feats. But, is it relevant to your game? If you like, think of it that he's got three 'slots' that you can fill to customise him to your campaign. Maybe the guy with the ranged weapon feats used to use one; but was then persuaded that it was dishonourable to kill from a distance and now only uses melee weapons. That wouldn't make him forget the feats; he just wouldn't use them. Later in the campaign, he might change his mind. It's your call.
At the end of the day it boils down to: why do you need an official ruling? What are you going to do with it?
See my response in the Tower of the Elephant.

It also boils down to game philosophy. My own personal style, as a GM, is that I follow the same rules as the PC, with very few exceptions. its part of the Let the Dice Fall Where They May style I like.

Mad Dog
Okay, I'm not proposing a war over this, and I do know where your're coming from on your game philosophy. However, after many years of experience as a GM, I do think you might be killing yourself to live. I used to think the same way, the NPC's can only do what the PC's can do. But, to fully detail and design every NPC can take ages. Fine if you've got the time. In my D & D days I could take 2 hours detailing one room! But , take Yag-Kosha as an example. All your PC's know about him is what he tells them he used to be able to do. As I said, he's not likely to recreate the item in a hurry. Unless you lay out the NPC stats for your PC's to see; how are they to know thet he doesn't have the required Feats? Even if they did know; would it really matter to them?
It boils down to personal preferences. It can take a while to detail an NPC, although there are ways to speed that up.

As I said, he's not likely to recreate the item in a hurry.

Perhapts he never could of created the item (Crystal ball) in the first place ?

I hate inconsistencies. Its the anal-retentive person in me.

Mad Dog
I just purchased this module and read it last night. I really like it - reminds me of "Empire in Flames" from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and the rift between Sigmarites (Mitra) and Ulricans (Asurans).

Just some quick thoughts.



My first thought when I read this adventure is to not slow the pace at any time - let every event happen very quickly. I like how so many encounters are presented enabling me to come up with a response regardless of what the PC's choose to do. But my thought is to not have the populace slow boil over the Asurans but go from temperate to boiling over very quickly and add a real sense of importance to the investigation. I think when it comes to religions this would be logical. Plus, in the Conan RPG this is very deadly to the PC's - not having a chance to breathe and I really like that.

I for one was a little disappointed that the Cult of Set was behind the manipulations as it's getting a little cliched in my adventures. I wish the book Faith and Furvor was out as I would try and pick another religous cult to be the power behind the frame up. I'll read Road of Kings and find something a little nastier. I like the Son of Set creature running amok and killing priests and guards (otherwise the Aquilonian Black Dragons would have to show up and help - I don't see a party of four winning against the numbers against the PC's in the catacombs) but big snakes are - again - cliched. Need something different.

I'm thinking of adding an element where maybe there is a spy from King Conan within the Brotherhood because Conan had heard about the Brotherhood and wanted some info. I like the idea of involving Conan even indirectly or directly with an adventure in his city maybe even having him showup for the last battle to help mop up - I don't know, maybe.

Anyway, great job Greg - can't wait to run it. 8)