At the Heart of Evil (PFRPG) PDF

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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For years, the Order of the Sanguine Star ruled Kelennor, until one day, the paladins stopped patrolling the borders. It was whispered that a great evil had entered the old keep, and when Sir Gareth Strongfist, a blackguard, entered the town of Kelen, he was accompanied by skeleton warriors. A new era was upon the people of Kelennor, and this time their saviors had vanished completely.

This Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure is designed to challenge four 6th to 8th level characters. It takes place in the barony of Kelennor, and especially in the old keep outside Kelen, the barony's largest town.

Written by K. Axel Carlsson. Inside you'll find artwork by Gary Dupuis and Marc Rødskov, and cartography by Butch Curry.

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3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Nice free adventure


This pdf is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3/4 of a page SRD, leaving 13 1/4 pages for the adventure, so let's see how it holds up!

This being an adventure, the review contains spoilers, so potential players beware.

At the Heart of Evil is a free adventure by Headless Hydra Games for characters level 6 to 8 and revolves around the PCs exploring a ruined keep of the Order of the Sanguine Star. The keep has been corrupted and the order slaughtered by a paladin of said order turned blackguard. The adventure centers around battling mostly incorporeal undead, collecting gems they leave behind and ritually laying their souls to rest to prevent them from respawning.

The adventure per se is a very straightforward little crawl. Where it stands out, is in the beautiful b/w-artwork I didn't expect in a free product as well as the maps provided for the keep - cover & interior artists as well as the cartographer did a great job.
The adventure also features two new magic items: A magic saddle and the banner of the order.

There is not too much to comment on story-wise, but I'll mention some peculiarities: This adventure actually feels like a prequel to the REAL adventure, e.g. holding the keep against an undead army led by the blackguard Sir Gareth Strongfist etc. I especially got this impression due to the focus the background story has on said Sir Gareth, the fact that his name is always written in italics and the distinct lack of his stats in this book.

Which brings me to my next little gripe: There are no stats in this book, only references to other books and not even the page numbers where we can find these critters. Looking the numbers up would have taken 5 minutes and been a great service to DMs. More importantly, some enemies have the fiendish template. While I learned to apply it on-the-fly, I don't know whether every DM out there is willing to do that.
On the other side, this adventure is FREE.

Editing is nice; Although there are some awkward sentences, none hampered my understanding of the adventure. The are some strange formatting decisions like putting Gareth's name always in italics. Layout and artwork are absolutely top-notch and deserve high praises. The crawl itself is short, sweet, uncomplicated and yet exciting and not too easy. While I would have loved to get the stat-blocks and a great final encounter with the often-alluded-to Sir Gareth, I'm hoping for a sequel. That being said, I'd usually rate this lower, but come on - it's a free adventure, it's a fun little crawl and it's got great artwork and cartography, so even if you only scavenge one part, what can you do wrong? My final verdict will thus be 4 stars.



excellent adventure. as dark mistress stated above. good average run!

A simple solid "dungeon crawl"


At the Heart of Evil by Headless Hydra Games

This product is 16 pages long. It starts with a cover and Credits. (2 pages)

Introduction (2 pages)
This is a background to the adventure, overview and some plot hooks.

The Old Keep (11 pages)
There is a map of all levels of the keep, there is a total of 12 encounters in the keep and room for some RPing even. It is mostly a fairly straight forward “dungeon crawl” where the PC's go and explore a old keep to defeat the evil that is rumored to be their.

It ends with a OGL. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is simple black and white, the maps are simple but well done. The encounters could be very dangerous in a couple of spots, which makes this adventure possible very hard. Or things might be very easy depending a bit on the makeup of the party. The adventure is undead heavy. Really there is two parts to this adventure and this is only the first part. I am assuming their will be a followup adventure to this free adventure for the next part. All and all this is fairly well done, there is not bookmarks or statblocks. I did have one critic, there is a woman the PC's can save and if they do they can earn a reward. Only it doesn't say what or even offer suggestions what the reward should be. I think it should have offered suggestions. The adventure could be used stand alone with out the second part fairly easy with only a few minor tweaks.

So what's my rating? Well it is free, but it is a fairly simple straight forward adventure. I recommend picking it up, but I am going to rate it with a 4 star review. A nice but pretty simple straight forward adventure that could have used a little more polish.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Now available! I hope you will all enjoy this free pdf and find something useful within its pages...

Dark Archive


Thanks guys, for taking the time to review this adventure! And you are right, of course... this adventure is very straightforward!

- Axel

Nice review, D_M. I've been planning to do that one, too. :)

Reviewed. Soldragon is next. :)

Thanks for the review!

Just out of curiosity, if it had cost a few bucks, would you have rated it... 1...2...3 stars?

- Axel

Due to the formatting glitches and the fact that the players don't get to see much of the story and Gareth, the main antagonist, doesn't show up, I think I would have settled for something between 2 and 2.5 stars, perhaps 3 depending on the price.

0onegames "The Sinking"#1 got 4 stars from me and didn't suffer from any of these glitches or narrative roughness.

As I mentioned, for a free prologue for a to-be-released commercial adventure or to sample your layout/art-quality, it's cool. Although it would be better if there were no formatting glitches. After all, I didn't notice similar ones in Soldragon. :)

Dark Archive

Nice review End.

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