Posted by : David Guyll May 26, 2010

A level 3 adventure for the Chaos Scar adventure path, The Crawling Fane pits the characters against a duergar named Hargash who fled his home city to avoid being killed for worshipping a bizarre, vermin-based god named Chitteruk. "Chitteruk" is in fact a made-up god created by the meteor in order to get Hargash working for it for some reason (though to be fair I'm not sure what the meteor's overall game is, other than being a dick). The meteor sent Hargash some visions that lead him to a ruined temple formerly dedicated to Moradin, and after an undefined length of time that brings us to the present.

As always I really dig the adventure hooks. The first hook has the characters bringing back a sacred relic to one of the NPCs. Its worth quest XP but the really cool thing about it is that if you go with that one, the NPC gives you a +1 thundering warhammer right at the start to assist them. The second hook has the characters harvesting venom sacks so that another NPC can make antivenom out of them. This reminds me of one of the hooks from Stick in the Mud, where you gotta bring back mud from various bullywugs, and I think its a solid way to reward the players further for doing shit they would be anyway. The last hook doesnt come from a NPC, but instead rewards the players immediately for getting off their asses and "seizing the initiative." Me likey.
    The adventure has four encounters. Starting out within the ruined temple, Hargash uses a ritual to crack open a pit, allowing his minions (some ettercaps and centipede swarms) to scuttle out and attack the characters. After swatting them down, the rest of the adventure is a trio of sequential encounters consisting of varying combinations of insect-like monsters and duergar, that allows for no deviation. This is where I think the adventure is weakest: you dont get any choices and the party is railroaded to the adventure's conclusion. The adventure isn't very long so its not much of a complaint, and Aeryn does a good job making the encounters interesting via effective terrain features (ie difficult terrain, cover, and holy water that still hurts duergar).

    { 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

    1. Thanks for the review. Sorry this one wasn't another Dead by Dawn for you. Hopefully, you'll dig the next one a lot more. =]

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    2. Just to be clear, I did like it despite my quips about the linearity and ambiguous meteor-boss. The former sometimes cannot be avoided, while the latter is an example of you working with what you're given. :-)

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