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Midgard: The Lost City (4E)

****½ (based on 3 ratings)
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Enter the Lost City!

The Lost City is an adventure set in the classic ruins of a once-great city: treasure and glory await!

Written by former Wizards of the Coast designer Logan Bonner, lead designer on Arcane Power and author of the fan-favorite adventures The Slaying Stone and P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens.

The Lost City is a Paragon-level sandbox adventure with a broad range of player options and twists. It offers lost threats and secrets — plus a new servitor race, new magic, mysterious ghostly foes, and multiple factions for players to ally themselves with – or against!

Visit Kadralhu, the City Beneath the Sands, a place of shifting dunes and layers of lost civilizations. Uncover its mysteries, and loot the treasures of ancient days!

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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A solid sandbox 4e adventure.

****( )

Lost City by Open Design

This product is 95 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (5 pages)

Chapter 1: Kadralhu (19 pages)
This setting sandbox style adventure is for characters of 14-17th level. It starts off with background about the city, a adventure summery, history of the city, factions of the city, adventure hooks, 3 new magic items, a bit of info on a local city, a nearby village and information about base camps within the city ruins. It finishes by going back to the factions with stat blocks and more information about them.

Chapter 2: The Phoenix Tower (7 pages)
The tower is the way into the old ruined city. It starts off talking about all the rooms with in the tower, with nice descriptive text on what to read to the players in easy to spot way. It ends with the encounters being laid out at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 3: Impressions (13 pages)
This next section introduces a new race of creatures a type of lizard people in a couple of camps. It mostly deals with the PC's coming into contact with them and advice on how to run the creatures. There is also a couple of set encounters in this section as well.

Chapter 4: The Hanging Garden (10 pages)
This section of the city is now known as the hanging gardens. It lays out this section of the city and the creatures that can be found with in it are insect people. It ends with a series of encounters.

Chapter 5: The Corpse Commons (18 pages)
This is a part of the city where giants use to live. Like the previous parts it explores and lays out this section with easy to read and understand descriptions. Then ends with a series of encounters and a mini dungeon. There are still giants and other things in this area of the city.

Chapter 6: The Waterworks of Kadralhu (10 pages)
This section still has those roaming from when the city fell making their home here. The beginning is descriptions of the sections with encounters laid out at then end of the chapter.

Chapter 7: The Vault of Kadralhu (13 pages)
This final section will likely be undertaken by the PC's as a sort of quest. It is a nice little final quest to the city with a interesting ending. Other than the well laid out sections and encounters at the end. There is also sections on what happens after the adventure is over with some likely surprising options that some players will love to take advantage of.

It ends with a back cover. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. I should note I was given this for the purpose of this review. The art work is mostly black and white and range from fair to good. Layout and editing was well done. The maps are well done and there is a lot of them, they focus on small sections within each chapter. There is no larger overview maps of each section which is something I personally like. There is a couple of small maps with general overviews of the whole city though, but they lack much detail.

Now I found this adventure very hard to review. For one I found the format hard to read, I am told it is the normal format for 4th edition called a delve format. I can see how when running things it could be helpful when combat starts, but I found it made it harder to read. Also while I have played 4th edition some, I have not played it a ton and never GMed it. So I not sure how well balanced and how hard the encounters are from a mechanical stand point. I will say most of them was interesting and presented in a way to make for fun encounters.

I did really like the sandbox style to the adventure and how there is a lot of options for combat or RPing depending on what the players and characters want to do in the adventure. So what's my rating? Well I found this one as I mentioned hard to review. I found the format a distraction personally. Perhaps if one got use to it, it would be easier. So I am going to give this one a 4 star review, mostly on how interesting and well laid out the adventure is. If it plays as well as it seems like it would I could see giving it a higher rating. This could easily be a half star up or down. I just lack enough experience with 4e to give it a more precise review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Lost City is what adventuring is all about

*****

Reposted from Apathy Blogs

As a patron for Open Design‘s Lost City I am slightly biased. I wasn’t really involved in pitching ideas however; my patronage was really more of a pre-order. A sign of my faith that Open Design would deliver an excellent adventure for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Logan Bonner does not disappoint.

In a way Lost City brings a taste of classic Dungeons and Dragons to the latest edition. Inspired by such classics as B4: The Lost City and S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Out in the desert, there is a ruined city. Not just any old city, but the wreckage of a once flying city. What treasures await inside? Will the characters befriend the inhabitants still living within, or destroy them? Much of the destiny of the city is left in the character’s hands.

The main inhabitants of city are the Oklu, a race of reptilian humanoids. Servitors to the original builders of the lost city, the Oklu will likely become both allies and obstacles to the characters as they explore. The factions of Oklu are split on how to protect their sacred home. The characters are likely to upset the balance of power. They could unite the Oklu and restore the city to its former glory or just as easily spark a civil war as they plunder it.

My favorite section of the adventure are the hanging gardens. A portion of the city fell upside down. Now plants hang from the floors of the city. Exploring from upside down building to building will be require great athleticism or the aid of magic. Just be careful not to fall when fighting off the insectoid hive that made the area their home.

If you are looking looking for an excellent paragon tier adventure for Dungeons and Dragons, Lost City is a must buy. It could easily be adaptable to Dark Sun or any other setting with a large unexplored desert. Lost City is what adventures are all about.

Apathy Rating: 5/5.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

Throughout history, the concept of the 'lost city' has always fascinated... likewise generations of gamers have been drawn to explore by legend and rumour, right back to the Basic Dungeons and Dragons module B4: Lost City! Whether it's fame and fortune, mere survival, or some higher purpose, mention lost cities and adventurers will come in droves. This lost city is no different, and there are wonders to discover for those brave enough and skilful enough to explore.

The lost city of Kadralhu has much to offer the adventurer and much also to offer the gaming group, for it is presented as a 'sandbox' adventure, a setting with much to do rather than a single plotline to figure out. Whatever the characters' motivation for going there, wherever they venture once they arrive, there are things going on, things to discover, enemies to vanquish, allies to be made and secrets to learn. All that is visible is a small ruin protruding from the desert sands... but (naturally) all is not what it seems.

Chapter 1: Kadralhu provides the background explanation of who used to live here, and why the city is now 'lost' at least as far as the outside world is concerned. For survivors still dwell there, some following ancient patterns and others developing their own responses to the cataclysm that struck their city down. There are several parts to the city, each with their own stories to tell, and these may be explored in pretty much any order. The city has a long and eventful history that, once discovered, explains at least part of what it is today, and promises what it might become again, if the characters win through and choose to restore it to its former glory. There are eight major locations, described in following chapters, as well as numerous factions and groups amongst the surviving residents.

It is suggested that characters arrive at the city knowing little of what to expect, perhaps even coming across the ruins by chance when crossing the desert. However several hooks are provided ranging from the characters being asked to trace the source of contamination in ground water that's driving those who drink it mad to divine entreaties. Whilst there are riches to be looted and antiquities to be discovered, it is unlikely that most adventurers will have heard about them. The two settlements nearest to the lost city are outlined, with an extended adventure characters might wish to emerge and then return to the city several times before they are done with it... or it is done with them.

The chapter rounds out with extensive notes on the new races to be found here, each with an impressive array of sub-types, and complete with all manner of background information to enable you to play them effectively as far more than mere opposition in combat. There's monsters here too, sometimes the distinction is a bit blurred as to what is 'monster' as in creature and what has a little more in the way of intelligence. Put together it creates a unique microcosm of life, a unique ecosystem which more thoughtful characters may find intriguing and worthy of study, while more violent ones will find plenty to challenge their skills.

Next, Chapter 2: The Phoenix Tower deals with the ruins on the surface, all that is to be seen by the casual passer-by and the characters' likely point of entry to the city. A small, broken, slanted building on the surface is but the very top of what was once a high tower, but through it characters can descend and begin to see the scale of the city awaiting them. Not of course that it is that simple: the descent itself is fraught with danger even before they get to explore. Skill in scrambling as well as in combat will soon be called upon in the encounters within. Descriptions are atmospheric and intriguing, with plenty to keep explorers' minds busy as they plumb the depths, while each encounter is mapped and detailed clearly, making them straightforward to run.

Once the characters are in, Chapter 3: Impressions is designed to enable you to let them have a look around. Several themes run throughout the adventure, relating to the beings that are encountered - part of the challenge facing the characters is to figure out what they are and how to deal with them in an appropriate manner: if they get their approach right, they will win friends. If not... shall we say that a difficult task will be made even harder. Those which make a good impression gain tangible benefits over time, with clear rule mechanics to help you administer the effects. While clear, these are quite complex, so it is worth making sure that you understand them before the characters get this far. There's a lot for them to do, finding their way around and making friends (or enemies), but a collection of small encounters are provided for when things seem to go a bit slowly, as well as several major set-piece ones tied to certain locations.

Following chapters detail other parts of the city and what (and who) is to be found there. I won't go into details as many of the titles might give too much away, suffice to say that both locations and specific encounters are marvellously detailed, making it easy to make the alternate reality come alive for your players. Everything has its history, its reasons for being the way it is. Everybody that they meet has their own business to be about, that its clear that they will be getting on with even were the adventurers not around. Yet if the characters succeed in puzzling out the great secrets of the city, they can choose to restore it to its former glories, raising a deity in the process...

Many challenges that the characters face are tough ones and will tax even those of the designated levels to the utmost, however both brains and brawn will be needed to succeed. Parties who wish to fight everything they meet will likely fail, yet those who hesitate and are not prepared to fight and fight well will be overwhelmed. It's a balanced and rounded adventure, with scope for many different things, and one which should resound in the legends of your gaming group for many a year to come.


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