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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.

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Great Bang for the Buck


This an impressive little selection of wizard and sorcerer feats that add a lot of flexibility and customisability to any player wanting to play one of these character classes. The feats bend what's considered "normal" for an arcane spellcaster, but not at the price of being unbalancing. Great value for the price, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to add a little more flexibility to their magic-users.