Heart of the Scar Review

Looks like whatever the Chaos Scar was supposed to be is finally wrapping up. At least with Blackdirge on the job it will go out with a bang.


If you are going to play in this adventure, stop reading and go make your DM run it now. Bribe him or her if necessary. If you are a DM then you are probably already running it, or preparing to murder the characters in your current campaign to pave the way for this one.


The adventure backstory reveals that the meteorite that carved out the Chaos Scar was actually the heart of a Far Realm entity known as Shoth-Gorag. After it landed a group of Banites ascertained that it was a gift from their god, and decided to built a fortress around it that would become known as Hallowgaunt. After construction was complete the heart began attracting monsters and influencing the Banites--who named themselves the Brotherhood of the Scar--forcing them to help build it a new body using the flesh of captured victims. Not all of the Banites were affected, but while transporting a weapon highly effective against denizens of the Far Realm most were captured.

Fortunately one managed to make it to the King's Wall as the characters are passing by...

The adventure assumes that the characters help out the fleeing Banite, who is then more than happy to divulge the truth about the meteorite, as well as the hidden passage he used to escape. After that it is an action-packed killfest of taking on crazed Banites, foulspawn, mimics, and finally Shoth-Gorag.

This adventure was fucking awesome to read. In particular I loved the encounter with the mimic: when the characters find Farbane, it is on top of a mimic disguised as a basalt slab. When they approach it transforms and eats the hammer if they don't remove it before hand. A mimic disguising itself right beneath a magic item is pretty rad, but the best part is that once it is dropped to 50 hit points it spits the hammer out and reverts to its slab form in the hopes that the characters just leave it alone (meaning that it could come back later).

The grand finale is the best part, though. Shoth-Gorag is a minion-spawning, triple attacking solo brute with threatening reach, an auto-damaging aura, and a very painful recharging blast. To make matters worse when he is bloodied he spawns minions for free, and can have more than usual active at once. If the characters manage to defeat him and shatter his heart with Farbane, they are rewarded with a collapsing base skill challenge worthy of any action flick.


  1. Thanks for the review, man. This one was a blast to write, plus it was pretty cool to be the guy that wrote the first and the last Chaos Scar adventures. I hope I gave the Scar the sendoff it deserves, and I hope Shoth-Gorag gets to eat a ton of PCs in the very near future. =]


  2. I'm still waiting for the aberrant-centric Blackdirge adventure path. :-P

  3. I gotta agree-- this has the potential to be a great adventure. Especially now that the path is finished, I can work backwards from Heart of the Scar and use foreshadowing to putthe entire story in place. that is the ONLY thing I think is missing from the adventure-- advice to a GM on how to build it in as the capstone for a Heroic Tier campaign. Which Mr. Blackdirge might be able to so on his blog, perhaps... ?

  4. Personally were I do package the Chaos Scar as an adventure path, I would basically cherry pick all of Aeryn's stuff and try to tie it all together, and just round things out with more aberrant threats--like my star cult homebrew monsters--to taste. I'll second Blackdirge doing some bloggage, but will ALSO say that I would definitely pay for it.

  5. @David: I’ve got more DDI adventures on the way, but nothing with an aberrant theme. However, I’ve been kicking around the idea of publishing some short Lovecraftian-style adventures through my own little publishing company, Blackdirge Publishing. They'd be similar in scope to the Chaos Scar adventures--just with more Blackdirge-ness. =]

  6. Non-aberrant is still good: I really enjoyed Stick in the Mud, Dead By Dawn, and Wayward Wyrmling. I'm just a huge Lovecraft fan and thought that both this adventure and others along the vein of The Tainted Spiral were fucking awesome. If you do go the route of running stuff through Blackdirge Publishing, then you definitely got a customer here. :-)

  7. i dont know much aboout lovecraft stuff, but i loved your adventures Blackdirge. I look forward to anything you make!

  8. BAM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft

  9. oh, i know who he is and what he writes, i just have never taken the time to read his books.

  10. @ThePlaneswalker: Thanks for the kind words, but, dude, you gotta read some Lovecraft. He's such a huge influence on D&D. I mean, it's not as bad as never having read Tolkien or something...but, yeah, that's a hole in your nerd-knowledge you need to fill right quick! =]

    Here's the awesome thing about Lovecraft. Most of his works are in the public domain, meaning you can read them for free. Here's a link to a website with the full text of many of Lovecraft's classics: http://dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/index.html

    Some good ones to start with:
    At the Mountains of Madness
    The Call of Cthulhu
    Shadows over Innsmouth
    The Dunwich Horror
    Whisperer in Darkness
    Dreams in the Witch House

  11. Thank you very much for the link! I guess i know what i will be reading at work :P
    i can at least say ive read the lord of the rings, the silmarillion, and the hobbit, in that same order.

  12. I'm (slowly) working my way through a volume called 'The Tales of H.P. Lovecraft. It has most of those.


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