The Jarlsblood Witch Saga was a fantastic adventure! I GMed it twice recently and both times we all had a blast! The adventure begins with a nice amount of role play with interesting characters around a centuries old mystery in a great setting. There was just the right amount of creepiness and mystery to always keep the players wondering. Little by little the adventure grew in scope and by the end as the truth was coming out, the adventure had reached epic proportions! The final boss battle was truly memorable. My players loved it! Afterwards, one of them came up to me and told me that this was one of the best adventures he had ever played. GMs will want to spend some time prepping it and learning the story well, but if you do, it is well worth it. It is an amazing adventure with a great story and memorable characters. I recommend this scenario highly!
Captives of Toil is an awesome adventure for any character, but especially if you are a member of the the Liberty’s Edge faction. It has a great story in an epic setting against some very evil Duergar!
I GMed this adventure three times at GenCon and every time was super enjoyable! First of all, the encounters were all with duergar or other monsters! I love scenarios where I feel like I’m far from home dealing with some exotic creatures. This scenario nails it! Furthermore, there was a great balance in the types of encounters. Some encounters used diplomacy and skill, some used wild empathy, and some were simply epic combats. In addition, all the encounters took place on some great maps that gave the scenario a real feel for the Darklands.
I like that several skill checks became useful and success with them gave realistic consequences for later in the scenario. In one case it could determine whether the players were defending an outpost, arriving at the same time as the enemy, or attacking the outpost. Near the end of the scenario there is a great use of creative problem solving with the use of appropriate skill checks when the players are required to make a plan, prepare it, execute it, and deal with an unexpected twist. It uses a simple mechanic, but allows some great creativity on the player’s side of things. At a suspenseful moment in the story, it was a lot a fun. This was very well done.
Combat-wise, it's challenging without being ridiculous. That being said, a player in one of my three sessions did die due to a critical hit, but it was in an epic battle near the end when my GM dice were on fire.
Prepping this scenario as a GM is really reasonable. It uses Map Pack: Cave Chambers as well as one custom map. The Flip Map Twisted Caverns could also be of great use. I was given the scenario just days before GenCon, and I had no problem putting it together in record time and being able to run an awesome adventure!
Overall, this scenario is an excellent one. It's absolutely worth playing, and has quickly become one of my favorites! Mike Kimmel has done a fantastic job and I look forward to seeing more of his work!