I consider this one a cult classic. It's so ugly and tiny and generally mediocre it stands out. It's one of my favorite DDMs. I love to have an excuse to bring out a dozen of them and harry a party of otherwise-noble adventurers.
This story is littered with some unique, engaging encounters
(particularly encounter areas) and some interesting monsters. For
that, I appreciated.
However, there were two things about it that bothered me:
1. Cliches. The idea of a sacred dragon's graveyard is overtired and
has not been dealt any new twists here. But it's a cool cliche so
I can forgive that. Unfortunately, the accompanying "wise old man
needs you to save the world in secret" premise is even more
ancient than said wise old man. It has been delivered in this mod
in a manner that I found completely flavorless.
2. Wrong party level. I had a really hard time getting past the idea
that a sacred, uber-secret dragon's graveyard is accessible to
11th level PCs. It may seem like a simple thing but it really
sabotaged the story for me. It not only tarnishes dragonkind but
also insults the players. This story would 100% better if it was
targetted at near-Epic level characters with the challenges
augmented to boot. The author clearly has a good grasp of how to
make things interesting at high APLs, why clamp it so low?
Still I'm starting to sound really negative. There are some great
ideas in this mod. It's just the composition that ruins it. If you
buy this, do it for the cool encounters (many of which can be pillaged
and put into other contexts). It's worth your money just for that.
Event-based adventures are never easy to write but this one has been
crafted well. The story evolves very smoothly and is chock full of
engaging independent encounters. This definitely isn't a mod for an
amateur DM but in the hands of a skilled storyteller this is
definitely going to be memorable.
My only significant disappointment was the chief villain and his fleet
footed side-kick. These characters seemed to lack depth (in stark
contrast to the NPC protagonist) and, as a result, I fear they would
drag the story down. That combined with the unavoidable high civilian
body count will make the finale of this story a bit of let down for
players. Players may also find the exceptinally high gore level of
this story a turn off.
In only a few pages, the author creates a
wonderful immersive world with a rich history. The NPCs are rich, and
the story is an outstanding balance of roleplay and dungeon crawl.
Creative gems are throughout particular with regard to the central
danger of disturbing the rest of the four pharoahs (left vague to
avoid a spoiler). I intend to incorporate this adventure into my next
Nicholas Logue is an excellent author but this is is definitely not his best work. The feeling you want to get when you read a good module is an unyielding urge to run out RIGHT NOW and find four players to run it for. I did not get this at all from the story. Instead, I got a sense that it felt contrived, a bit cliched and just way too heavy handed. I also got a strong sense that it would be intensely difficult to run well and that, ultimately, it would frustrate the players more than frighten or excite them. While I applaud an effort to create a good story for 1st level PCs (always hard) and to create an engaging mystery/horror (always really hard) this one, in my opinion, did not succeed at doing either.