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A great old-school adventure!

*****

Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is a Pathfinder adventure for a team of four level 1 characters. If they clear every single corner from it’s current inhabitants (including goblins, bandits and monsters) they could go up to level 3 until the end.

In it’s basics it’s an old-style adventure with dungeon crawling and such, and while I’m not a big fan of the style it’s presented with a lots of merits. Obviously the author Creighton Broadhurst done a lot of work to turn the keep and it’s surrounding area to much more than an extensive battle-map – it’s a place with a history, and a dynamic “environment”, where NPC-s and monsters are really living their own life, instead of waiting for their turn in “room d4″ to be killed. And that’s great.

Design and layout

I think what we see here is a simple but really good layout and format. Thankfully there is a lot of information included for each encounter/area, and everything is clearly visible and easy to find. But I will be back on that later.

On the other hand there are relatively few artwork in the book, and while they are OK it’s not outstanding. I don’t consider this as a problem, since as a Game Master I’m mostly interested in the maps and they are good and clearly labeled.

The adventure

There are many things to love in this adventure. As I mentioned this is a really living setting, where different characters try to act pro-actively without (or even against) the players. It’s possible that the different factions partly kill each other without the adventurers “help”, or a group of bandits offer alliance, and one of the goblins want to betray the current leader to mention few possibilities.

As I already mentioned the different areas and encounters are nicely detailed, including tactical notes on the environment (cover, lighting, etc.), and tactics of the enemies involved. Also there are exact DC-s added for each possible “locate things”, “know things” and even “identify magic things” check, making the Game Master’s work much easier.

Thankfully the adventure also consist several possibilities to use it as a start for further adventures. The players may find several maps about an abandoned dwarf fortress, or they may claim the keep as they own and clearing the area, or enter the underworld under the buildings.

Final words

I think Creighton Broadhurst presented one of the best old-school adventures I’ve seen recently, so naturally I give it 5/5 points, and highly recommend it.

note : this review originally appeared on Rpg.Org (see link below)
http://rpg.org/review-shadowed-borderlands-pfrpg/


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Very good, but too few

****( )

I was looking for the book because I just starting the Jade Regent AP, and I have to say that it's a good addition.

While I like the new content (regional traits, archetypes) I feel a little bit underwhelmed : the content is good, but it is not much.

There is a lack of racial traits / favored class options, and we receive the too few archetypes (I would like to see at least several for ninja and samurai)

Take a look at my full review at Rpg.Org


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A natural addition to the Oracle class

*****

I'm often critical with additions to existing classes, because they often feel tacked on, instead of a natural extension of the core rules. But it's not the case with The Secrets of the Oracle !

I really like the classic feel of the Arcane and luck mysteries, as well the Voices curse. Yes, you hear voices and they are real!

There are some slight balance issues (like the Simpleminded curse), but I think most of the concent is right on the mark in game balance, as well as in flavor.

You may read my full review here :
http://rpg.org/review-secrets-oracle-pfrpg/


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Recommended for Game Masters !

*****

I think 101 Hazards and Disasters is a really good book. The different hazards are greatly varied in severity and theme, they are clearly defined, and the CR levels seems to be right on the mark.

There are places touched by gods, dangerous fauna, natural disasters, parasites, environmental hazards and many more. I think these are great and dangerous challenges which could be a nice change from combat encounters, or could bring an additional complication.

The difficulties are raging from CR 1/2 up to CR 25, and many of them has a varied CR to adjust to different player groups.

You may read my full review here :
http://rpg.org/review-101-hazards-and-disasters/



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