This adventure is a well-constructed tale of revenge, set in a situation that embroils everyone else whether they are interested or not. While the scene is richly-set and described in great detail, the outside world is not, making this scenario ideal for dropping into a suitable location in your own campaign world if you are not using the default Lonely Coast setting.
The adventure is divided into three parts. In the first, the characters - for whatever reason (some possible ones are suggested) - make their way through worsening weather to the isolated Priory of Cymer, fending off encounters and and the worst the weather can throw at them alike. Once there, it's clear that the weather and isolated location means not only must they stay until the storm abates but they are very much alone - just them and the people already within the Priory. The effects of bad weather are detailed clearly, and used to good effect both mechanically and to enhance encounters along the way.
The second part of the adventure is used to set the scene within the Priory and to ratchet up the tension as the raging storm outside is mirrored within. This is the part where those players most interested in role-playing and character interaction will get a chance to shine, while the other two sections give plenty of opportunity for sword-arms and spellbooks to be exercised. Several encounters are laid out for you to use during the characters' first three days at the Priory: the main action may be character interaction but you are not left to 'wing' everything, although plenty of detail about the attitudes and motivations of the NPCs is provided should you be comfortable with free-form interactions. There's plenty going on, with several odd if not disquieting things having happened before the party's arrival (hence rumours and possibilities of investigation if they so desire) as well as the events set for this period. This segment culminates in a good brawl as the Priory is attacked. Throughout, opponents' tactics are clearly laid out, making it easy to run each combat. Timings are important, and alternate situations are provided based on exactly when the characters reach each location: a nice touch that enhances reality - events continue whether or not the characters happen to be around. This leads neatly into the final part which leads the characters into the crypts under the Priory and below to the climatic battle.
Throughout, the attention to detail provides the GM with plenty to draw upon when running the adventure especially as much is perforce free-form in that characters can roam around the priory as they please. NPCs are well-described and are rounded - if, in one case, perverted - characters in their own right independent of their place within this adventure. There's scope for continuation as well, should the characters wish to remain associated with the priory once the adventure is ended. A good, well-written and competent low-level adventure to see a campaign off to a good start, or provide a coherent one-off if preferred.
Date Added: 08/02/2010 by Megan Robertson