The 2016 Halloween modules from Goodman Games has arrived and it is awesome! We will get in to some minor spoilers, so this review is geared towards judges looking for something to run either in the coming weeks, or any time you want to run something in the horror genre. This adventure is decidedly creepy with a nice insanity mechanic appropriately termed “unraveling”.
This is your final warning, players look away! You will suffer dire corruption if you don’t close this page now!
Just us judges? OK – Michael Curtis did an amazing job with this adventure. This one starts with a theme about closets/wardrobes/drawers acting as portals between worlds, and has the party (who may be in the same place, or entirely different planes) called to the pocket dimension of the House of Tattered Remnants, home and prison of the Sempstress. It is digest-sized and weighs in at 20 pages, so is perfect for a convention slot, or one-shot for the holiday.
The Sempstress was banished to this pocket dimension ages ago by ancestors of the party. She sent her minions through the various seemly mundane closets or wardrobes to exact revenge on the heroes for her imprisonment. The PCs give chase and emerge in the House of Tattered Remnants. This horror house is filled with creepy challenges and mood-setting details. One of my favorite features of this adventure is the unraveling mechanic. Each PC starts with a stability score equal to their personality stat. If the PCs see something mindbogglingly horrific, they make a DC 10 Will save. On a fail, they lose a point of stability. Once it drops below 10, PCs start manifesting physical signs of unraveling which acts similar to corruption for wizards. Most of them aren’t debilitating, but represent the character losing grip on reality in this twisted pocket dimension.
There are a nice mix of encounters and traps, and the gore level is just right for my tastes: present, but not over-the-top. Another excellent feature in this adventure is a nod to classic haunted houses. Clever PCs will search for an artifact that was discarded in vats of spare body parts the Sempstress uses to create her minions. Prepared judges can blind fold a player and physically have them search in bowls peeled grapes as eyeballs and peeled tomatoes as hearts, etc. to find the representation of the artifact in real life. Such a great idea!
The final battle with the sempstress herself looks to be quite challenging, even for the 6th level PCs recommended for the adventure. She will likely have a pair of Reality Tailor allies that cast spells using set numbers rather than rolling a spell check result. Those numbers descend over subsequent rounds, but between unraveling checks from the Sempstress and her ability to stitch heroes to themselves or stitch her own wounds, this will be a boss battle to remember!
I may just print out a few 6th level pre-gens for ScareFest this weekend. It seems like the perfect venue for this spooky adventure! If you’ve got a seasonally appropriate game night coming up and are looking for a memorable adventure, head to the House of Tattered Remnants. Just don’t become unraveled!
Leprechaun Init +2, Atk shillelagh +2 melee (1d6); AC 17; HD 3d6; MV 20′; Act 1d20; SP invoke patron (The King of Elfland) at 1d20+5; SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +2; AL C. Patron spells: Forest Walk and War Horn of Elfland (caster level 5). Always found with triple treasure.
Leprechauns are small fey creatures in service to The King of Elfland as guardians of His Fey Majesty’s treasures. Typically found at the end of a rainbow in deep forest glades, these seemingly friendly creatures look like small elves wearing green garb and shiny black boots, but are ferocious if confronted — fighting to the death to protect their hoard. Capriciously, however, they do sometimes seek out adventurers to play tricks upon. Even after their defeat, the pernicious magic of Elfland can reach out and curse anyone who steals from the King: the first person to touch any part of a leprechaun’s hoard (which is usually kept in an iron cauldron) will be affected by The King of Elfland’s patron taint (spellcasters roll 1d6, non-spellcasters roll 1d5).
Speaking of Dungeon Crawl Classics (and Goodman Games)… they are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter for next year’s World Tour. In 2013, the “Band” of DCC RPG creative team ran games at different conventions around the country, and fans and GMs were given free swag to support events at local game stores and conventions. There’s a lot of chances to get some cool swag for you and your group as well as games ran by “The Band” and even *drumroll* A WIZARD VAN! Sounds like a great opportunity to increase the play of DCC in your area.
The Skyland Games elves have been busy crafting a holiday treat! Steve has updated our old DnD 4E Christmas Carol adventure for Pathfinder! Not only that, he included some of the new playtest material from the Advanced Class Guide. The updated version replaces the skill challenge with a chase, and features updated maps and detailed stat-blocks of the baddies.
It’s a 2nd-level adventure designed for two PCs. The holidays can be a tough time to get the gaming group together. This adventure is designed for when you can only muster a few of the regulars. To get it, check out the free downloads page, and happy holidays!