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Not Just a Side Quest

4/5

I enjoy running horror-style adventures in my D&D campaigns, though I've only run them as "one-shots" or side quests.

Hangman's Noose presents an introductory adventure to kick off an entire horror-style campaign, and it does so very well.

The adventure jump starts into a horror-movie scene that's part Twelve Angry Men, part Final Destination, part Haunted (1995 Aiden Quinn movie), and a mixture of classic horror elements.

The conclusion of the adventure includes information that could be used to continue a horror-style campaign, all of which take place within the same city of Absolom.

This adventure succeeds in presenting horror elements in D&D by providing the descriptive narrative that horror stories need. It also uses the D&D mechanics to produce some other horror-movie aspects, which, to me is the most important aspect of running a horror game in D&D.

What I mean by this, is the players need to know that their spells, feats, skills, and class abilities still work the same way, and anything that the horror-style creatures or effects do can be explained by looking at the rules.

At the same time, the horror-elements should be part of the story, not the star of the show, stealing away the PC choices and abilities. There are encounters in the adventure that seem to "have to happen" and the players can't stop.

While this does produce a classic horror-movie effect, it takes away a vital aspect of an RPG, which is that the players actions have an impact on their surroundings.

Of course, these events can easily be adapted to better suit the style of play that the DM and the players enjoy.

All in all, this is a solid D&D adventure, and an outstanding horror-style adventure. For more inspiration of running a complete horror-style campaign, I recommend picking up Heroes of Horror and Dragon Magazine #336.


Great Maps

5/5

This map, originally included with Dragon 303, was paired with the Jail/Armory Map from Dungeon 96 for use in a gladiator adventure in that issue.

The maps are paired through "lifts" that lower the gladiators from the arena floor to the armory below. The two maps are perfect together and can easily be used in any campaign world/city.

I've used this map for several gladiator events in my campaigns, and for some quick DDM skirmishes (50 pts). Lots of fun.

I highly recommend both of these maps.

By the way, you can purchase Dragon 303 as a PDF from the Paizo store as well.


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Great Maps

5/5

This map, originally included with Dungeon 96, and used in a gladiator adventure from that issue, was paired with the Gladiator Arena Map from Dragon 303 for use in the same adventure.

The two sand-colored sqares in this map are "lifts" that correspond with matching sqares in the arena, for transporting gladiators or animals from the armory/holding area to the arena above.

The adventure from Dungeon 96 was really fun to run, but these maps have seen multiple use in my campaigns, and for quick DDM skirmishes.

I highly recommend both these maps.

By the way, you can purchase Dungeon 96 as a PDF from the Paizo store, too.


Grail Not Delivered

1/5

I arrived home to find a note that delivery of the Grail was attempted, but since I was not home to sign for the Grail, I must pick up the Grail myself at the Castle of Aaaaarrrgh...