The Black Stones of Kovag-Re

I've been contemplating ordering the above named adventure from RPGNow, however, the reviews for the product on that site are terrible. I'd like to have some reviews/opinions from known and trusted (you folks) sources. Also, is the module available in printed format? Thanks.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
There is no question that the pdf is over priced for a scenario that is a single 4 hour session's worth.

As to its quality, I would say its fair. Not great but not bad. There is a reasonably obvious betrayal in it, that many disliked. I personally felt that it was too much a D&D scenario and not enough a Conan one. Fortunately, the overall premise is pretty good (the NPCs and Kovag Re in particular) and easy enough to fiddle with to make for a good Conan scenario.
 

nidhog

Mongoose
I ran it at Strategicon a few weeks ago to great success. It plays well and has much more roleplaying than combat. The sessions I ran were from 4 to 6 1/2 hours long. I made some minor changes that added to the roleplaying, but overall it went smooth.

Not sure of the price, but it may be something to pick-up.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
I didn't run it but found it good if too short. I consider it is more a detailed hook than an adventure but with some work it can be developed into a very Howard-like adventure.
Then I don't understand why Mongoose didn't publish a 32 or 40 pages scenario for the same price.
Principally the theme is pleasant as the players can act to save a true romance and don't receive any silver. There is a similar thread is a Kull's story.
 

XcomSquaddie

Mongoose
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Appearance
BSoKR uses the standard Conan T&A border (or the "boobies border", as we like to call it.) The artwork inside is basically a few reprints from the Core Rules. Nothing exciting, but nothing horrible either.

Plot/Story
The scenario is very well written, and includes developed NPC's (Oleksa, Bogden and Julia) with believable motivations, consistent histories and full game stats. No pics of them, but there are roleplaying notes and any or all of them could easily be used as recurring NPC's in a longer campaign.

The plot itself is simple. The characters are hired (forced) by Oleksa (governor of Arenjun) to recover his kidnapped bride (Julia) from the clutches of the nefarious Outlaw (Bogdan).

There is an opportunity for the PC's to gather information before hitting the trail and this provides the GM with a convenient spot to place a few encounters, such as meeting with informants.

The travel part can easily be expanded by a devious/clever/evil GM. The characters may encounter a small mountain village, which could be used as a hook to expand the scenario.

The scenario's finale is as well done as the rest, however I won't spoil it by going into detail. Suffice to say, that there is a battle, lots of bloodshed, etc. etc.

The story is set in Arenjun, on the Zamorian/Turanian border. There are notes at the end of the scenario that allow the campaign to be set in Aquilonia or Turan, making it more adaptable.

Combat
The scenario can be broken down into three parts: Arenjun, the Trail, the Stronghold.

There is little opportunity for combat in the Arenjun section, unless the PC's anger Oleksa and his guards. The scenario assumes the characters do not, but mentions strategies to use if they do fight the governor.

The trail section has multiple opportunities for bloodshed.

The stronghold will more than likely involve the characters wading through pools of blood.

In general, the combat is easily tailored to character variables such as character level and party size.

Roleplaying
Many chances to roleplay, in all three sections. In the beginning the characters must question witnesses and find clues. On the trail they may choose to interact with the villagers. In the finale the characters can attempt to reason with the bandits and bargain for Julia's safe return.

Cartography
There is an area map included, showing the route from Arenjun, up to the mountains and to the bandit stronghold. It's computer generated and while not pretty like the maps in the rule book, it gets the job done.

Notes
I feel that it is a very good scenario that captures the Conan feel and is easily adapted by a GM to fit the needs of his campaign and his players. While $8 is a little steep for a PDF file, in this case it's worth the money.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Darth Mikey said:
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Plot/Story
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Your review is impressive but don't you think you're spoiling the scenario a bit by telling every plot of the adventure? What if potential players are reading this forum? Now the GM will have to invent a totally new plot to surprise his group of adventurers. :wink:
 

XcomSquaddie

Mongoose
The King said:
Darth Mikey said:
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Plot/Story
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Your review is impressive but don't you think you're spoiling the scenario a bit by telling every plot of the adventure? What if potential players are read this forum? Now the GM will have to invent a totally new plot to surprise his group of adventurers. :wink:

Well I didn't mention the surprise ending where Julia turns out to be Julius and he and Bogden ride off into the sunset together...

Okay, I added a spoiler warning and re-wrote some parts.
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
The King said:
Darth Mikey said:
....
Plot/Story
......
Your review is impressive but don't you think you're spoiling the scenario a bit by telling every plot of the adventure? What if potential players are read this forum? Now the GM will have to invent a totally new plot to surprise his group of adventurers. :wink:

You know, though, I think any players who are reading a forum about an adventure are probably going to read past any spoiler warnings.
 

Arkobla Conn

Mongoose
As to how this adventure is more like a detailed adventure hook, this is exactly how I started my adventure but with a prelude to it.

I had the PC's run into Oleska and Julia at the local Market (he was being carried in a palinquin with his bride when a riot breaks out. Their ride is upset and they either fall out or are caught by the PC's. The PC's also either protect them or not...this gets them noticed by Oleska who invites them to the house for a dinner...

It went deeper setting the relationship BEFORE the adventure...
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Arkobla Conn said:
As to how this adventure is more like a detailed adventure hook, this is exactly how I started my adventure but with a prelude to it.

I had the PC's run into Oleska and Julia at the local Market (he was being carried in a palinquin with his bride when a riot breaks out. Their ride is upset and they either fall out or are caught by the PC's. The PC's also either protect them or not...this gets them noticed by Oleska who invites them to the house for a dinner...

It went deeper setting the relationship BEFORE the adventure...
Excellent! The beginning was not very credible and I had no idea how I could present this. Well done.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Jason Durall said:
You know, though, I think any players who are reading a forum about an adventure are probably going to read past any spoiler warnings.
There wasn't any spoiler warnings before; Darth Mikey modified his post. But of course this scenario could have been some goodies downloadable for free and anyone could then have studied it before play. :lol:
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Darth Mikey said:
Well I didn't mention the surprise ending where Julia turns out to be Julius and he and Bogden ride off into the sunset together...

Okay, I added a spoiler warning and re-wrote some parts.
And you didn't mention either that they created the gay pride in Aghrapur and then married in Zingara and gave birth to many children. They lived a long life in greatest happiness until the next cataclysm struck. They could even survive the Pict invasion unscathed.
How a 16-pages scenario became the greatest dynasty ever.
 
Thanks for all the input, guys. I'm going to buy the scenario and, hopefully, make it a worthy introduction of the Conan RPG for my group.
 
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