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The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote Adventure (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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A hellish 64 page dungeon crawl designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game which scales for characters of 7th-12th level—an adventure not for the faint of heart! This is the first ever full-length adventure by Total Party Kill Games!

The setting of this adventure is a place called Silvermote, the underground lair of our latest villain in the Infamous Adversary product line, Temerlyth the Undying. You do not need the latter product to enjoy this one, but owning both will enhance your enjoyment immensely!

Temerlyth, our infamous elven lich, was forced to spend his great personal fortune and energies building what has become a hidden lair, laboratory and base of operations. He built it during a downward spiral of frustration, bitterness, spite, hatred and, finally, insanity—all of which drove him to seek lichdom. Silvermote is a calamitous reflection of his nature and more. This bizarre place features elements reminiscent of cathedrals, crypts and laboratories built over about a decade as Temerlyth, a once gifted alchemist and enchanter, went slowly mad and turned to dark necromancy in seeking a lasting solution against all werekind. Silvermote is a strange place from a lost age and has grown at least as twisted as its undead owner and just as filled with ancient spite and untold secrets.

The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote is part adventure, part recurring campaign location, all written especially for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The adventure features an unhealthy mixture of lycanthropy, undead, traps, tricks, new magic items and much, much more, including rules for making intricate magical tomes, locked, trapped and ready to fill a library of rewards!

This adventure can be dropped into any campaign setting as a hyper-challenging one-shot adventure or as a recurring adventure site to which defeated characters might return again and again!

This 64-page adventure features high-quality art, a detailed, full-color map of Silvermote (viewable in the teaser!) and uses the Open Game License to work with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules. It also features full hyperlinks to the award-wining d20pfsrd.com web site so everything you need to run the adventure is right at your fingertips!

You asked for it—your players can blame us.

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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A good buy for the price.

****( )

The Sinister Secret Silvermote by TPK games

This product is 67 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (3 pages)

Backgrounds (6 pages)
This has a short background for the adventure, Plot hooks, Objectives, and the Journey. The Journey has 4 optional encounters to throw at the party during their trip to the adventure, CR 5, 7, 8, and 11.

Silvermote Adventure (38 pages)
There is 26 locations in the adventure and 24 encounters that range from CR2 to 17. Not all of them are monsters some of them are fiendish traps as well. The encounters are all undead, constructs, werecreatures and traps. The dungeon is from the mad warped mind of the main villain a Lich who has more background detail in another product Temerlyth's Infamous Adversary that I highly recommend to help flesh out the main villain. You don't need it but I think it helps a lot. Much of the adventure just fits his personality and history really well. The adventure is VERY hard, careless characters will not live long. If you the DM play the monsters traps, you need to make sure your PC's are clever as well. There is a group of cursed magical armor, by cursed I mean they was made with the souls of werecreatures.

There is also 25 volumes of books in the library which all have names, locks, and possible benefits. Some of them add bonuses using them while others are spell books. I very much liked the books here and would have liked to have seen even more and maybe them expanded. Perhaps as a future stand alone product?

Scaling the Adventure (4 pages)
Here we have options to scale the adventure if you want. It is currently set for 4-6 7th level PC's. I would recommend 6 or 4 8th level, the adventure is hard. A group of 4 7th could do it if they was on their toes. There is notes for making the adventure harder. The default adventure is considered CR 7, the optional ones are CR8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Extra's (10 pages)
Here we get 1 new spell Silvermist (which is a mist/Fog type spell that obscures things, yet sticks to invisible objects makes them seen if close enough and damages werecreatures). Four new magic items, one is a very powerful shovel, one is a elixir, one silvermist chain shirt, and another is a artifact. The rest is full stat blocks for creatures found in the adventure.

More Extra's (4 pages)
Here we get some more extra stuff. A page for the new book stat blocks and how to make more of them. I would have really like to have seen this expanded, it is such a neat idea. A page to be printed out as a reference to help you run the adventure and finally two pages of the spell book of the main villain.

It ends with a OGL and full page map. (2 page)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and pretty good. Editing and layout is very good. I didn't notice any errors at all. It is well bookmarked and hyperlinked which for a PDF this big is nice. As a mentioned this is a very deadly and tough adventure, it also is a bit loot heavy. One item the shovel I think is a bit Oped as well. The map is good. I think this is a very good adventure that has a few rough spots and could have used a little more polish. As it is a couple of encounters are very easy, most are hard and some are just very deadly. Especially if you play the main villain as well as he deserves. I recommended checking this book out if it interesting you in the slightest. So what's my rating? I am going to give it a 4 star review, good but could have used a little more work.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Neat dungeon crawl with minor hick-ups and cool ideas

****( )

This adventure is 67 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving a whopping 64 pages of content! Not bad at all, so let's check out the dread laboratory of Temerlyth, the Undying!

This being an adventure review, the following contains SPOILERS, thus I encourage potential players to skip ahead to the conclusion.

Let's get ready for some horror-show indeed, for after an encounter with some ogres and drow in the wilderness, even the entrance of the dungeon is not entirely simple, necessitating the solving of a riddle, which is always nice, at least for me - riddles are often painfully underrepresented in modules and are a welcome diversion from regular crawling. And what a crawl this is!

Let me preface this, by saying this crawl is HARD. Frog God Games hard, with the potential for a clever DM to make it even more challenging and I love this design philosophy. My players tend to waltz through many modules and this provides a challenge indeed. Another thing this module gets, is a sense of antiquity - Temerlyth's ancient elven architecture is mixed with goblin borrows, offering a nice mishmash of elven splendor, goblinoid decay and a mad scientist's lab. Which brings me to lichdom: Once in the day, a lich was the ultimate undead corruption: A being who sought to extend his existence at all costs - in contrast to vampires and other undead, they cannot be brought into life by accident and their willingness to sacrifice their mortality makes them even more alien and despicable than other undead: Where we can feel pity for shadows, ghosts and wights, project fantasies and Eros on the vampire, these undead still have some relatable characteristic and be it flimsy as the hunger for life. Liches sacrifice willingly the warmth of the touch of a loved one, their sense of smell and taste and any craving but the search for ultimate power behind, making them despicable to even vampires. The ultimate darkness, the utter corruption that perpetuates this decision is something that has, at least in my opinion, often been forgotten in recent publications. Not so here.

Temerlyth's dungeon is the mirror of a disjointed, relentless and obsessive mind with a twisted sense of humor and devious traps that clearly show the amoral stance the lich takes towards mortal life: Several of his traps are actually designed to infect interlopers with lycanthropy, which will promptly be triggered by his moonlight-producing chandeliers and sow confusion and infighting in invading parties. If an approaching party manages to infiltrate the complex at all, that is. The sentinel, a wood giant skeletal champion ranger and the puzzles make already for neat glimpses of the horrors to come. The crawl itself removes mostly about finding 4 crystalline keys to lower mooncrystal bridges via pedestals to a central platform and raise Temerlyth's crowning achievement and work-in-progress, but more on that later.

The elven lich's servants and allies not only include zombie lords, constructs and ghouls (among which is a potentially recruitable ghoulish cleric, who might at least make for an interesting temporal ally), but also a variety of were-bat slaves who consider him some kind of benevolent over-seer. While I have no problems with his rather cool golems, like the bomb-throwing Aclhemy golem, I do think that the equipment of the were-bats is terrible. Perhaps this is intended to reflect Temerlyth's underlying hatred for them, but they and their dire bat allies will be squashed by your PCs. On the other hand, the zombie lord has a terribly over-powered weapon you should be aware of: A magical shovel that can bury the living with a successful attack )grappling and pinning them with +25 CMB and summon the undead. The PCs should not be able to use this item, the potential for abuse is HUGE.

If you've read Temerlyth's Infamous Adversary-pdf (which you should - his background story is explained there), you also know about his now undead family, who also serves as his minions and might go for a rather creepy holo-deck style encounter. I also particularly enjoyed the gallery of rare and very strange were-creatures and his vault, in which he bound souls of lycanthropes to now terribly cursed armors and weapons. His laboratory also bears mentioning: It's one of the locations where Temerlyth could make his final stand and his phylactery, for once, is actually CLEVERLY hidden, as befitting of a foe of Temerlyth's intellect. So, what's in it for the PCs, should they succeed? Well, it's here that the scenario is truly interesting: We get a significant slew of Temerlyth's library as items - complete with names, contained information, (very specific) skill-bonuses gained when consulting them etc. - a total of 23 grimoires are included and what can I say: I love them! I love it when publications go above and beyond and its flavorful tidbits like this that stand out and make for a much more memorable payoff than finding 100 GP worth in books.

And then, there's Temerlyth#s artifact: The Moonfire Soulstone. Once activated, it shoots searching rays of lycanthrope-searing light and continues to do so until charged. Killed targets are soultrapped and once the device is fully charged, it emits a devastating explosion of energy at close range and purges lycanthropy from a huge radius, using the trapped souls as fuel. Pure genius! This is a tactical weapon of mass destruction and will be the reason why my players have to defeat Temerlyth: Just imagine an army of lycanthropes, poised to crush any resistance and then, the PCs hear about this benevolent sage who fights the threat - only to realize fast that salvation from the were-beast onslaught might come at the cost of their moral integrity or even their souls. Or provide for a heroic last stand where the PCs thwart a lycanthropic invasion at the cost of their immortal souls. Barring that, an activation of the weapon makes for a thrilling final confrontation with Temerlyth that surpasses even the lich's stand-alone lethality.
The pdf also contains a reference sheet for the dungeon's general properties, a page on how to read the grimoire-sections, extensive information on how to scale every encounter from CR 8 to 12, a fully hyperlinked spellbook of Temerlyth and a one-page, full color map of the complex.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to TPK Games b/w 2-column standard and the b/w-artworks are nice, although I have seen them in other sources before. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks and, as has become the tradition with TPK Games, hyperlinks to the SRD for quick reference of any rules you might have forgotten. However, in contrast to other releases by TPK Games, some of the statblocks have not been as extensively hyperlinked as others. While each includes at least some hyperlinks, the coverage is not as universal as with their other releases. When reviewing the Tomb of Caragthax the Reaver, I complained about it being too short - the same cannot be said of Temerlyth's laboratory - we get a concisely-written dungeon full of sadistic traps, deadly lycanthropes and hungry undead. One thing you should be aware of, though, is that while all stats necessary to run this scenario are included, I do urge you to buy Temerlyth the Undying as well in order to fully understand the primary antagonist's motivations and character.

Some of the enemies herein are weaker than you would expect for their CR due to poor equipment, but the amount of treasure and the deadly challenges herein mean that your PCs won't be disappointed on the loot-side. They'll also be hard-pressed to triumph against the rather deadly challenges offered by this dungeon. While I love the library with its detailed list of tomes herein, I also consider the item gravemaker terribly over-powered. The map, while beautiful is rather cluttered and I would have LOVED a player-friendly version sans secret doors/keys/traps to cut apart and show to my players, as I hate drawing dungeon maps. In the end, the venture to Silvermote can be considered a diamond in the rough - there are minor smudges like aforementioned item and inconsistencies and essentially, you should add $1.99 for the Temerlyth-pdf to the price, but the dungeon still makes for an iconic, disturbing, deadly crawl that offers quite a bit of content for you. Weighing all the pros and cons, I still very much enjoyed the pdf and can easily change e.g. gravemaker to work only for his specific owner, thus my final verdict will be a good 4 stars and a hearty recommendation, especially if you're intrigued by the artifact/last stand idea I mentioned earlier.

Endzeitgeist out.


Delightul Fantasy Horror Crawl With Plenty of Extras

*****

I’ve been playing role-playing games for over twenty years. In that time, the height of my “boxed adventure” experience was in the golden age of TSR – before WOTC. Adventures were written to inspire, and the inspiration that created in the GM then got passed on to the players. While it was not often that I used the descriptive texts verbatim, there were areas where that writing (particularly with puzzles) was key to ratcheting up the tension, and giving my players a sense of achievement (or horror, in the case of failure). Time changed the quality and methodology of the publications, as well as the overall intent – the formatting even became less immersive, with a lot of indexes, appendices, and poorly organized clutter.

TPK has re-set the bar with Silvermote – this is golden-age level caliber content all over again. The quality of the work, both artistically, and mechanically, speaks volumes about the effort and thoughtfulness that TPK put into developing this adventure. Even the “filler” encounters are smart, and the balance between dark fantasy horror, and a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl/kill the monster module is expertly executed. There is some great artwork, along with the maps, which really help in providing inspiration for GM’s who may be struggling in finding the correct adjectives to set the mood.
The ”recommended” ECL of 8-12 is certainly well suited for the printed matter. You could easily beef up some encounters and enemies, and still have challenge for players a bit higher even. Bump down a few particularly challenging items, and you have a tough slug, but a doable one (maybe with a hefty NPC or a cache of disposable magic items) for those even below the low end of the recommended. There are some particularly nasty traps, and a wide variety of encounters throughout Temerlyth’s lair.

Regardless of the party you bring, Silvermote will hook your players – possibly in a vital place… There is a lot in this supplement – healthy plot, a good peppering of NPC’s, some fantastic mapwork, and a great means of scaling the adventure and encounters as needed. As with Temerlyth the Undying’s supplement, this is all provided in a fairly neutral setting, which can be dropped into your existing campaign, or, if you like, form the foundation of a new campaign setting.

There are some really interesting new magic items and magical arms/armor powers, as well as an entire mechanic for creating magical libraries! This mechanic alone is worth the price of purchase, and you get a whole well-crafted adventure for free!

My only issue with the product was the variation in link depth, through the breadth of the PDF. Despite this inconsistency, I think that the fact the adventure _is_ linked (with reference materials going to d20pfsrd) is brilliant, making for a quick double-check when planning, or a fast end to player questions while running. I’m sure as TPK continues to grow in their finesse, issues like this will even out with experience.


Great Concept, Poor Execution

**( )( )( )

The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote by TPK Games is a 67 page adventure for 4-6 players of 7-12. This book relies partially on TPK’s previous work Temerlyth the Undying and is almost required for the latter half of this module.

The gorgeous front artwork by Eric De Mander leads you into an adventure about a Temerlyth the Lich (with a burning hatred for Lycanthropes. Were creatures that destroyed his elven homeland and drove him to build a tower by goblin slaves in which he could craft ways to destroy the shape shifting hordes. Eventually madness took him and he slaughtered his loved ones, isolated himself to experimenting on man and beast to find a way to ‘save’ his people, and setup shop to further increase his growing alchemical prowess.

We open up with the background of the module providing DMs with plot hooks to aid in providing a reason to raid or infiltrate Temerlyth’s lair. One is a letter by a wizard who ‘heard’ about the unimaginable power of the place and the other a wolf in sheep’s clothing as it may. The wonderful part of this adventure is the neutrality of the setting, you can put it anywhere there is a forest. Leading the party to the dungeon are a few encounters that get the players a taste of what is to come.

Once the players arrive at the tower the ‘fun’ begins. Littered throughout this module are the monsters fully stat’d and linked to D20PFSRD.com for ease of use, no longer does a DM who uses this in digital format have to reference what a feat or ability does, they are all hyperlinked for easy reference. This is both a blessing and a curse as the linking of the earlier monsters is well done and slowly start’s lacking into the latter pages. The massive amount of linking almost causes all the text to blend into one large underlined mass.

Tips on how to run certain areas are presented such as giving the DM a certain way to handle a plot point, how monsters interact with each other, and even tidbits on the masonry to those players who have to know everything.

Since this is the lair of a Lich who has lived hundreds of years with the threat we know there will be traps, tons of traps, tricky traps. The DM has to be well versed in what player’s are affected by prior events, the location of the trap’s, and what these traps do, as some are unconventional. The sand and portcullis trap that isolates your PCs in a divide and conquer methodology is tricky enough as it is, DM has to be on their toes here. The quality ranges from the well thought-out (previously mentioned sand trap), the bizarre (were trap and arrows), to the poorly designed green slime trap (dissolves all organic matter but not bones?).

The monster’s who dwell in this tomb are a mix of constructs, undead hordes, insane creations, and a scattering of caged were-beasts. They range from CR 1 to CR 16, and TPK has generously provided the DM with scalable stats if an encounter needs to go higher or lower in difficulty. The areas come in a variety of states ranging from the well done (bugbear zombie lord), to the average (Cathedral Golems), the badly designed (Werebat sorcerer with armor and martial weapons), and the utterly broken (Cleric who lives in a 5’ room wearing a robe of vermin that gimp’s him even further). Wrapping all this together is the overwhelming specter of Temerlyth who is never given proper detail on what would happen if an invasion were to occur. Does he pursue the PCs? Does he go after them as there are sections that state, “Temerlyth is notified that intruders are here” after the PCs defeat a monster or activate a trap. Does he gather his forces and hunt the PCs down? These questions are never answered and left to the DM to decide.

The Lich’s lair is a CR17 packed with new magical items (Magical tomes that have locks, traps, and goodies inside), a handful of traps, work benches scattered with Temerlyth’s experiments gone awry, and Temerlyth himself if he’s not off gallivanting around slaughtering werebeasts. Herein contains his phylactery put in a clever location that would take the most persistent group of players who loot everything to find.

Extra’s section is where all the new content is provided: an upgraded form of glitterdust, shovel that buries it’s foe into the earth, potions that grant lichdom, artifact of utter destruction to all lycanthropes, armor made of bone and others of silver. Quality items that can easily fit in any game and the power ratings are within limits, but I can see quite a bit of abuse for the Grave Undertaker and it’s ability to root foes.

The Sinister Secrets of Silvermote is a mixed bag of great ideas thrown together with poorly thought out encounter’s, missing skill checks on traps and doors, and monster’s who caused me nothing but head scratching puzzlement of why TPK would put all these together. The sorcerer werebat with gear befitting a hobgoblin but not a sorcerer, the storage room with brown mold and no description details, the lair of his wife and kids that demand you have the prior product which could easily have a simple line of “Use Elven ghost Wiz/5 and Elven Ghost Ranger/4” to give the DMs somewhat of a guide on what to go on. Rooms that have no reason to be in the same state after hundreds of years besides “Well he’s insane so he leaves his house in tatters” with monsters that still happen to be there because that’s their lair because they said so.

In conclusion, if you as a DM are willing to put in the effort, roll up your sleeves, and there is a plethora of content one can use for a lair of the Big Bad Evil Guy. The inner workings are there, the framework is present, unfortunately the presentation falls drastically short and left disappointed by the result.


Fun, Dark World

*****

This is a beautiful world, full of the things that make Dark Fantasy dark, gritty, and fun. Everything is in here, from wandering treasure seekers and lying wizards to puzzles and the guardians of secrets once thought lost. Combined with Infamous Adversaries, this is definitely one to try out in your world.

My favorite part is that this is more than stat blocks and maps, it is written with a moving grace and beautiful poise that brings a puzzle to life. It's not an overtemplated creature, but rather has a name and story to it. Without giving away some of the more fun encounters, even the weapons have a story, done in only the way a dark fantasy and TPK Games can do.



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