An event-based adventure for 15th-level characters
In rural Dalaston, a quiet wedding festival is
ruined when a rampaging dragon descends from
its mountain aerie to rain fire and destruction on the
peaceful celebration. In desperation, the town’s leader
turns to a mysterious stranger who promises protection
from the dragon—in exchange for a few sacrifices. Now the
children of Dalaston rise from the dead as ghastly abominations
to enforce martial law and kidnap people for their mysterious
master... including the blushing bride herself. With time quickly
slipping away, can the PCs break the undead curse on the town
and stop the dragon from destroying what remains?
Blood of Dragonscar is a dragon-slaying city adventure for 15th level
characters, compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s
most popular roleplaying game. Within you’ll find information
on the mining and brewing town of Dalaston, new
monsters, a draconic lair deep inside an active
volcano, and the fire-breathing dragon itself.
This adventure takes place in the decadent nation
of Taldor in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting,
but can easily be adapted for any game world.
Written by Keith Baker.
Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the 3.5 Edition of the world's most popular fantasy RPG. This Pathfinder Module includes four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.
I just ran the adventure this past weekend and the players thoroughly enjoyed it!
I had converted it over to Pathfinder, so there was some issues with the CRs matching to a party of 15th level adventures (and a misunderstanding on our part of the Paladin's Aura of Justice ability), but it did not detract from the story or gameplay at all.
I highly recommend this to all to run as a one-shot to introduce players to high-level play in Pathfinder since it helps show exactly what the classes can do when they get to 15th level.
Also, to Mr. Baker (aka Hellcow)- A direct quote from one of the players after I read the 'read this' sections for Bloodless and Hungry Mist:
I don't think I've ever seen a high level module made this compactly before. Great use of space, and I love the hand waving of townsfolk. At this level, you can just walk over them if you really want to. Of course, that wouldn't make the characters very heroic.
There isn't enough high-level content being published. This is a great module and can easily be fit into any upper level campaign. Every should pick this up so Paizo will be convinced to do more like it.
One of the most common complaints about creating high-level adventures is the space involved to do them justice. A High level stat block can take up to two pages of text, and unless your module is heavily reliant on the Monster Manual, each new encounter is a slice away from the flavor text, the city map, or the plot hook.
Nonetheless, Mr. Baker manages to squeeze an entire high-level adventure into 32 pages. Two methods drastically cut down on the endless stat blocks. One, basing three common creatures found in the module on the same template, turning three stats blocks into one and a half; and two, "handwaving" several possible encounters by putting creatures well below the Party's expected challenge. This is a practice best used sparingly, but if ever there was a time for the players to mop the floor with the opposition, it's 15th level. Note that most of these encounters are not necessarily meant to result in combat, but if they do, they don't bog the book down with text.
Okay, so Keith can write economically, but is he any good? Previously, I've only read portions of his work with the Eberron Campaign setting, but this module proves he can excel in the Pathfinder universe. The module has that sense of dread that the PF adventures love to dole out. Mr. Baker also incorporates investigative and roleplaying tactics, and the adventure is nonlinear enough to give the players options. I also commend the use of Taldor, which until recently received little attention from Paizo.
In short, Keith Baker proves that there is a formula for concise, high level adventures, and I hope we see more from him, in any capacity.