LWM - Radak's Revenge Adventure from S&P #88 (Review)

WARNING! SPOILERS!

Radak's Revenge, a Lone Wolf Multiplayer adventure from Signs and Portents #88 is a fantastic adventure. The storyline is that an evil druid has set a trap for the party, luring them with false information.

I ran this adventure with a group of five players playing a Kai Lord, Knight of the White Mountain, Magician of Dessi, Drawven Gunner of Bor, Border Ranger of the North.

First, the good...
1) This adventure really gives different classes time to shine. I liked how it included a ship so any Buccaneers could show off their skills.
2) The adventure is nicely paced. Lots of action, but it is balanced with tons of role playing opportunties.
3) The adventures allows for clever heroes to avoid combat through using their disciplines.
4) I liked how the other passengers on the ship were notable NPC's in character classes. I just wish (see #3 below)...
5) This adventure does a nice job of "directing" the heroes without making it seem as if they don't have choices.
6) I also liked the options for the heroes to heal up in the middle of the adventure and do some shopping when they get to Seroa.

Finally, the bad...
1) The plot is a little obscure. There really is no way for the heroes to every truly understand the backstory of the Druid. Also, the threat seems to be a little great (killing all magic users in Magnamund) to send novice heroes on this adventure. Also, isn't there any easier way to capture a single magic user than this elaborate plot?
2) Simply put, if you run this adventure as it is written, you will kill your party. It is advertised for 4-6 players and says if you have more or less than that you will have to make adjustments. Having 5 players, I kept the numbers the same and I killed three player characters. Several things up the lethality considerably.
a)Shakara's wildfire - Doing DOUBLE a random number roll, this potent mixture could do anywhere from 2 - 18 damage to EVERY TARGET IN A TEN FOOT RADIUS. I believe I got a middle number (7x2=14) and this came directly after the brutal Storgh combat. Considering most heroes have somewhere around 25 HP TOTAL, this is WAY too much damage.
b) The ambush. At one point, there is an ambush of TEN Beastmen. In the first round of combat they attack with bows. This combat alone could be a TPK! What makes it worse is Shakara, if not previously discovered, chooses this moment to attack!
c) The Cener Druid in the final combat has eight beastmen AND a ranged attack that does double or triple damage. YIKES! Triple damage alone could kill a player character in a single round!
3) I wish that the NPCs were more fully fleshed out as far as disciplines. The adventure says Shakara is an assassin, but she looks like a buccaneer. Ulnic and Mulnic are Knights of Illion. Radak is a Cener Druid. But none of these characters are presented with the disciplines their classes should provide. What rank are they? The captain also seems to need a little bit more fleshing out. Sure, the DM can make this stuff up but it would be nice if it came with the adventure already.

Overall, I feel as if the problems with this adventure can be overcome with some advanced planning and work on the part of the DM. I give this adventure a recommendation- 8 out of 10.
 

Xex

Mongoose
Thanks for your kind words. Great to see players and their narrators enjoying the adventures I write. :)

This adventure was meant to be hard. The PCs are supposed to stop a Cener Druid from carrying out his nefarious agenda, the murder of all magic users on Magnamund. This is a big deal, the lives of all magic users on the face of Magnamund are in the hands of the PCs. Therefore it makes sense for there to be the real possibility of failure.

However, the difficulty will vary depending on your gaming group as well as your luck. The adventure is truly difficult only for those gaming groups who run into consistent bad luck throughout the game.

For instance, canny PCs can discover Shakara's true intentions via some good sleuthing. If they do this, they can neutralise her before she becomes a real threat. Furthermore, in the fight with the Storghs, the NPCs such as Ulnic and Mulnic fight alongside the PCs, minimizing the ENDURANCE loss the PCs have to suffer. Then ofcourse, there is the oppertunity to rest in the middle of the adventure.

Furthermore, it should be noted that magic users like the Brother of the Crystal Star can use spells like Lightning Hand to destroy nearly any NPC in the game, including the Cener Druid you fight at the end.

I did not use full Disciplines for any of the NPCs because I felt that information would be detrimental to running a smooth game. NPC stats in the LWMGB are meant to be short and sweet. However, I did use certain powers from NPC classes in the game. For instance, the Cener Druid class (which I also wrote) has the ability to use ravens to spy on others. In the adventure the Cener Druid did just that, using a raven to spy on the PCs throughout the adventure.

Anyhow, hope this information helps clear up some of your complaints about the adventure.

Good luck with your next game! Might I suggest playing Terror in the Wildlands (S&P 85), which is another adventure I wrote? ;)
 
Thanks for the response. I know a game can be leveled by simply reducing the number of enemies, but I wanted to run it as close to as written. My players totally avoided the ambush and pirate fights but 3 PCs still died. What's interesting is none of the adventures have a suggested LEVEL range. I'd say that characters of rank 8-10 should be able to play this adventure.
 
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