Adventure, Dungeons & Danger: Horror at Dagger Rock (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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At the edge of the Daggerstone Hills is Dagger Rock; a pinnacle of granite that thrusts more than one thousand feet into sky. At its base sits Relford; one of the oldest and most popular mining settlements in the region. Since a recent earthquake, Relford is slowly dying: The mine has closed and the mighty Rel River has all but dried up. Terrified locals flee their homes, abandoning their meagre livelihood with no explanation. Those that remain keep their doors locked and are wary of strangers. There is talk that some people have simply disappeared…

It is said that between the dark and dead trees of the hills, inhuman tribes lurk, preying on the unwary. Who knows what horrors have crawled from out the shadow of Dagger Rock?

An adventure designed for 4-6 characters of levels 1-3.

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****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Very enjoyable gaming!

****( )

This is the first adventure we played back from 4th ed., and we had a blast!

Nicely packaged, with both GM and players maps, a nice array of handouts, well-documented appendixes that make life easy for the GM, the booklet in itself is of great quality. Since it is a .pdf format and production costs aren't implied, I would have liked a bit more color inside the booklet, but that's me!

The adventure has a lot to offer and should please to all styles of players and GM: part «sandbox», part dungeon crawl, the GM can choose to lead his players to certain parts of the adventure or leave them «in the wild» and let them run the pace of things.

Deep characters that aren't clearcut good or evil make it challenging for players to side with or go against some of the main protagonists, which I thought was good to keep them a bit off-balance.

Encounters are well planned, and easy to upscale or downscale if need be.

A word of caution: this might not be an adventure suited for beginning GMs: its loose ends and «sandbox» format might be rough to handle for inexperienced game masters.

Fred Daigle


Free old-school investigation/crawl sans art.

*****

This pdf is 74 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page OGL, 1 page credits that leaves 70 pages of chock-full with adventure.

The adventure features 6 adventure hooks and several maps for almost every location imaginable:
5 small maps of houses in the adventure, 1 player's map of the town Relford without any annoying letters. Very nice. Furthermore, we also get 2 pages of DM-maps.

The adventure per se, a dark tale about a cult with a nod towards Lovecraft county, highly detailed and can be described as a sandbox-style free-form investigation followed by a hardcore dungeon crawl that is very atmospheric and expects players to use both their brain and their common sense to defeat the obstacles they'll face.

The investigation works fine, due to the excruciating attention to detail that has been given to the NPCs - even wives and children have their own names, every entry features DCs to glean information in addition to the massive 1 page rumor table.

The adventure also features MASSIVE handouts for players: A 4 page journal, 2 One-page letters, 1 One-page missive and 1 One-page crude map. This should be standard.

We also get 2 new monsters, one of which is a template.

The quality of the prose is high and the atmosphere evoked makes the adventure a nice read.
The writing is very concise and offers the DM the tools to pace the investigation and modify the difficulty/pace. Make no mistake: This adventure cannot be run spontaneously and should be carefully read and prepared, it's too densely packed with information and fluff to be glanced over.

My only criticism is the lack of interior art, which would cost one star.

Conclusion:
As mentioned above, I'd normally detract one star due to the lack of interior art. However, the adventure is tightly and intelligently written and: It's for free! It's a large, high-quality adventure and it's for free. If you are somewhat into old-school gaming or like horror, check it out.


A Brave Little Adventure That Could (Still Use Art)

****( )

Sagawork Studios debuts their first Adventure, Dungeons, & Danger (AD&D) module, "Horror at Dagger Rock." The cover and interior style is a clear homage to the early adventure modules in the halcyon days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and many a grizzled veteran remembers playing modules such as "Keep on the Borderlands" and "Palace of the Silver Princess." The basic model involves detailing a town and a nearby dungeon, and letting adventure naturally pop into being.

Stylistically, the module is laid out pretty much the same as an old 80's module, including very simple (some would say "clean and neat") dungeon and area maps. Sadly, there is no old-school module art, or any art at all aside from the simple maps. The module overall would have benefited significantly from a nostalgic angle if it had had cheesy 80's fantasy art, such as of the Bride of Dagon, or of some of the smarmier NPCs. A nice touch is an appendix listing pre-generated characters, including their own character sheets, thankfully laid out in one-per-page format, rather than the old stat blocks, which I cringe to think about.

From an adventure design standpoint, the module is essentially designed to focus on exploration of the town itself, and as this is extremely non-linear it can be hard to properly plot out what's going to happen next, so it can be difficult for a DM to run. Fortunately, the module lists out a series of less-than-random encounters which push forward the plot, involving kidnappings, assaults by the undead, and so on and so forth. However, the plot involves a hefty portion of the NPCs in town to be actively in league with the enemy, so it can be extremely difficult from the PCs' standpoint in terms of not having a clear "safe base" to cling to.

Given the heavy horror overtones in "Horror of Dagger Rock" and relatively high mortality rate (the designer admitted to having to nerf one of the monsters so it doesn't regularly TPK the party), this module is not for inexperienced players. However, I daresay that beginners wouldn't be interested in heavy nostalgia gaming!

Overall, it offers a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic gaming experience with a nice mix of intrigue, investigation, exploration, dungeon crawling, and good ol' fashioned violence. For nostalgic gaming, it certainly earns a 5/5. However, the lack of art in any of its 69 pages is a serious drawback, and thus scores a 4/5.



As someone pointed out recently this is a lot of Adventure for free. Apparently the sequel is in the works and will cost a small sum of money. I haven't gotten too far in but this adventure of ancient ruins, dark cults and a region locked in the grip of an ancient demonic terror is already getting my wheels spinning. Rather reminiscent of a dungeon module dealing with the same Demon Lord but it is it's own story all the same. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising DM's wove them into connecting plots.

Give this game a look through, can't hurt seeing as it's free right? :P


This is absolutely well worth downloading. I honestly can't believe it is free. I haven't run it yet, but looking it over it is filled with great maps and descriptions. As has been previously mentioned it is designed in a very retro gamer way. Nice, usable pregenerated characters, maps and NPCs as well as a really good story line ... for free! Honestly it's a dream come true. This is perfect for someone that wants to try out the Pathfinder rule set without a huge financial commitment. You'll find yourself more in love with the system as a result.

Sovereign Court

I am playing it right now and we are having a blast! REally cool adventure, though I suggest you play it on medium or slow levelling pace, otherwise, it'll become too easy too fast.

Fred

Sovereign Court

And by the way: anywhere I can find the stats for a Displacer BEast? Or can anybody who played this tell me what they replaced it with?

Fred

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Concordia wrote:

And by the way: anywhere I can find the stats for a Displacer BEast? Or can anybody who played this tell me what they replaced it with?

Fred

Hmm. I just looked at this product, and they're telling you to use a Displacer Beast from the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary... but not only is the Displacer Beast *not* in the Bestiary, it's not even Open Content! It's Wizards' IP.

I'll drop a note to the publisher...

Dark Archive

In case the author or owners of Sagaworks reads this, when is Temple of the Kraken supposed to be out, I'm dying with anticipation?

Sovereign Court

Guess he's really busy with something else, cause I sent him an email about a month ago and didn't receive anything yet.

Fred

Dark Archive

Yeah, I sent them a email about a month or so ago as well and no reply.


....Aaaand we're back on the air.

Yes, I must say that it has been a while since I have been around. Some of you may know that I had to make some hard decisions about delaying product releases so I could support my partner whilst she recovered from injuries sustained during a gas explosion earlier this year. The repercussions from that accident has been a costly and time-consuming exercise, requiring us to sell up, relocate 600 miles and me to find more work in order to pay living and medical expenses, but I am happy to report that she is well on the road to recovery; both physically and psychologically. We are now entering the last month of 2010 and I realize that I am well behind where I expected to be. I must apologize to everyone for that, but I also hope that everyone understands the factors that are behind it.

Excuses aside; the buck stops with me. Especially with fixing the embarrassing error in Horror at Dagger Rock. I consider myself very lucky to have an astute audience and the support of a kind-hearted publisher like Paizo.

I have since uploaded a new version of HaDR that is pending approval by Paizo. Being Thanksgiving, I do not expect that it will be available until the 29th of November 2010. In any case, the changes I have made include:

  • Replaced the non-OGL creature with one from Tome of Horrors 2 by Necromancer Games. The stat block is included, along with the appropriate changes to the Section 15.
  • Replaced 'Krenshar' with 'Assassin Vine' from the wandering monster table on page 9
  • Changed all instances of 'Cure Minor Wounds' to 'Stabilize'

    I am still working on Temple of the Kraken, along with a color map of Rel-Draxa. Despite the delays, work is slowly but steadily progressing. It will be worth the wait. I promise :)

    Andrew C Gale
    SAGAWORK STUDIOS

  • The Exchange

    Sagawork Studios wrote:
    ....Aaaand we're back on the air.

    Awesome! I just posted yesterday on Enworld on the "Best 3PP Publishers" thread how great your stuff was and mentioned that you hadn't been around in a while. Really glad to see you back! Your situation with your partner is more than understandable and I am glad she is recovering well. Something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

    Sagawork Studios wrote:
    I am still working on Temple of the Kraken, along with a color map of Rel-Draxa. Despite the delays, work is slowly but steadily progressing. It will be worth the wait. I promise :)

    If there is anything d20pfsrd.com can do to assist, you know my personal email :) We'd love to help in any way, from promotions, to editing assistance (the crew is extremely knowledgeable of monsters and has already helped some other publishers). Just let us know, we're ready to help if needed.


    d20pfsrd.com wrote:


    If there is anything d20pfsrd.com can do to assist, you know my personal email :) We'd love to help in any way, from promotions, to editing assistance (the crew is extremely knowledgeable of monsters and has already helped some other publishers). Just let us know, we're ready to help if needed.

    Brilliant. I may just take you up on that offer. Thanks again.

    Andrew C Gale
    SAGAWORK STUDIOS

    Sovereign Court

    Well, I feel bad now, cause obviously, the sarcasm wouldn't have been written knowing what happened to your partner...

    That being said, happy to hear you're back and I'm waiting for the Kraken adventure, which I'll definitely buy!

    Fred


    Man this adventure daggerROCKS! We are having a great time playing this and I'm cranking up the horror volume to the max scaring my PC's and freaking myself out sometimes! lol.

    I'm an old school gamer and I really love your style. I'll echoe my fellow posters and say it again, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS WAS FOR FREE! Great work. I can't wait for the Temple of the Kraken to come out.

    Every review so far is right on the money and I agree with them all.

    Scarab Sages

    Let me introduce myself :
    I'm a Pathfinder Fan from www.pathfinder-fr.org, the french speaking community of Pathfinder fans.

    I loved this module when it came out, but I didn't GMed it yet, because of the handouts : Most of my players aren't fluent in english.

    I beleive Andrew C Gale is aware that Christophe "Dalvyn" started translating this great module in french.

    I'm not talented at translating, but I've a sharp eye to find mistakes and I've rereaded keenly the working version of "Horreur au Roc de la Dague". In my reading I spoted a few mistakes that were not translation errors but were in the orginal version.

    I guess it should have been reported earlier, but I've just received the new updated version today, only to find out the mistakes I've spoted are still there.

    Here they are :

    Page 57, the dwarven wizard has only 15 point of abilities whereas the other pregenerated characters have 17 points :
    Balthazeus
    STR 12 : 2 points
    DEX 10 : 0 points
    CON 10 : -2 points (he's a dwarf, racial +2)
    INT 15 : 7 points
    WIS 15 : 3 points (he's a dwarf, racial +2)
    CHA 12 : 5 points (he's a dwarf, racial -2)
    Total : 15 points

    Joreune
    STR 15 : 7 points
    DEX 14 : 5 points
    CON 10 : 0 points
    INT 10 : 0 points
    WIS 12 : 2 points
    CHA 15 : 3 points (she got a racial +2 either here or in STR which is the same)
    Total : 17 points

    Llander
    STR 12 : 2 points
    DEX 17 : 7 points (he got a racial +2 here)
    CON 10 : 0 points
    INT 10 : 0 points
    WIS 14 : 5 points
    CHA 13 : 3 points
    Total : 17 points

    Rongo
    STR 16 : 5 points (he got a racial +2 here)
    DEX 12 : 2 points
    CON 10 : 0 points
    INT 13 : 3 points
    WIS 10 : 0 points
    CHA 15 : 7 points

    Since the module is very difficult for 1st level characters, I believe this mistake is important.

    My suggestion : Give the dwarf 12 in Constitution, that will get him 7 hp (which is still quite low given the difficulty of this module), and +1 Fortitude Save.

    (By the way, nice thing the Pregens have a picture now)

    Another mistake :
    Page 63 in the Diary, an entry dates (Dated 7 months and 3 days after the earthquake) and the text starts :
    "A terrible thing has happened. Father Arden has been found murdered."

    But earlier, an entry states "Father Arden has returned" and it is (Dated the same day) as the previous entry (Dated 8 months after the earthquake).

    So I belive the Entry starting with "A terrible thing has happened. Father Arden has been found murdered." should be (Dated 8 months and 3 days after the earthquake).

    If readers are interested with a french version of this module we are working on it here :
    http://www.pathfinder-fr.org/Forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=1659

    Work is slow, we are just a bunch of volonteers, but we are eager to produce quality work for free.

    Silver Crusade

    MRick wrote:

    Work is slow, we are just a bunch of volonteers, but we are eager to produce quality work for free.

    Good show on that, btw. Just got the update alert on this adventure!

    Liberty's Edge

    Andrew,

    I'd like to get in contact with you - is there an e-mail address you could provide?

    Thanks!

    Liberty's Edge

    MRick wrote:

    I'm a Pathfinder Fan from French speaking site & forum for Pathfinder fans

    Me also.

    URLed the address of the site.


    Andrew,

    Thanks for an excellent adventure. I disagree with the reviewer's requests for interior art. Since this is a PDF, all art does is consume printer ink. I do request an NPC "who's who" cheatsheet, so I can keep track of everyone! I imagine it would be something of a spreadsheet, with boxes I can check off to see who's dead, who's alive, who's neither (:, who's an innocent townsperson, who's a bad guy, that sort of thing.

    Sorry to hear about the accident. Best wishes to your family.


    My entire party is slowly becoming 8th level now and I'm afraid we will be too powerful to run the module we are ALL waiting for. Any hint on what the level will be for the Temple of the Kraken? Give us a little info please.

    Dark Archive

    Hey just in case the Sagaworks studio dudes read this, I was wondering if you are still planning on releasing stuff for Pathfinder? I saw you are working on adventures for DCCRPC and the first one looks/sounds very cool.


    bigkilla wrote:
    Hey just in case the Sagaworks studio dudes read this, I was wondering if you are still planning on releasing stuff for Pathfinder? I saw you are working on adventures for DCCRPC and the first one looks/sounds very cool.

    Thanks for the link. I was wondering if these dudes were in business.

    Dark Archive

    Aretas wrote:
    bigkilla wrote:
    Hey just in case the Sagaworks studio dudes read this, I was wondering if you are still planning on releasing stuff for Pathfinder? I saw you are working on adventures for DCCRPC and the first one looks/sounds very cool.
    Thanks for the link. I was wondering if these dudes were in business.

    Yeah, they are still in business but apparently have stopped production on Pathfinder stuff to concentrate on DCC.

    Here is a post on the Goodman Games forums where I asked them what they were up to and his response was.

    "Bigkilla wrote:
    Hey, I have a question for the Sagaworks Studio guys. Are you guys still making stuff for Pathfinder? BTW this DCCRPC Title you are making sounds very cool.

    Fair question.

    To clarify, Sagawork Studios is a one person show, being Me. I always intended to go back to Pathfinder, but have difficulty keeping up with additions to the game. When I finally finished with the first few drafts of what was to be my next release (Temple of the Kraken), I realized that Pathfinder was quickly moving beyond the scope of what I was comfortable with as a fledgling designer. IMO, my adventures belong with the likes of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, and the various retroclones that are around.

    That said, I like Pathfinder for what it is and what it has done. A few friends and I are slowly developing a space-opera version of Pathfinder that builds upon the existing classes and rules, which will allow enterprising players to turn regular adventure paths into a science-fiction saga --with a bit of work, of course. Thing is, it is still a long way off.

    _________________
    Andrew Gale
    SAGAWORKSTUDIOS
    "

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