A spiteful ghost haunts an abandoned courthouse in the metropolis of Absalom, and on the ten-year anniversary of a grave injustice it seeks its revenge. The heroes must unravel the mystery of the ghost’s demise before they too are given a guilty verdict and sent to the gallows.
Written by Nicolas Logue
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I like Nic Logue as much as anybody, but this module is a good example of poor adventure design. It tries very hard to be good, but ultimately falls short of delivering what it promises.
First things first, the events transpire over the course of a night. That's great, but when you have a 1st lvl Wizard in the party, and they run out of spells, they're going to be bored out of their mind for the rest of the adventure.
Given that there are numerous combats, some of which with deadly foes (Ghoul-Stirge, I'm looking at you), and limited space to run, a DM has to hand-wave some enemy tactics.
The main "villain" appears early on, and soundly beats the PC's, but since they're already conserving resources, they start walking a fine line between TPK and living. It feels like the DM has to give them a handout to win, which I think fails the horror.
In addition, since there's a time limit, the PC's need to work hard at conserving resources. They can't rest and recover. Luckily, there's potions throughout the module, but that seems like an ill-contrived way of combating the problem, especially when the party's cleric might suffer the same as the wizard, and be out of spells (At least they can hit things still!).
It's a nice try, but just isn't the best by Logue.
...for experienced and mature players. "The Hangman's Noose" is downright creepy and deadly.
I highly recommend it to every DM who wants to challenge his players. If they get sore about dying, however, be careful - this one is deadly!
for a long time, I sought out an adventure that will give my players the creeps. when they get to it I am sure they will have them at Skeletons of Scarwall. but this module is just as great.
major NPC's drop dead faster then flys, the PC's need to investigate if they are to solve their problem and get out of the place alive. complicated storyline, great feel, nice encounters, cool new monster, and a lot of optoions for in depth roleplaying... it could barely get better.
While I think that Hangman's Noose is a great attempt at covering a classic genre in storytelling, it displays what many of us already know: it's very, very difficult to pull off good horror or good mystery at the D&D table. In this case, Mr. Logue tries to overcome that difficult by severely restricting the PCs' options and ability to impact the time-line of scary events that the primary ghost has set up. In a novel or movie, it's perfectly fine to dictate the actions of the main characters, but my players won't put up with it. Similarly, the mystery plot isn't very mysterious, and it seems like the players have a sense as to who the guilty party is from the opening minutes.
There are some very nice (and creepy) scenes throughout and some very nice touches that set Hangman's Noose well above most attempts at horror/mystery modules, but be aware that the hangman also has a (metaphorical) straight-jacket for each of the PCs that forces them to sit back and enjoy the show until it's time to "fix" things.