One Night Stands 1: Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti (PFRPG) PDF

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Remember when the world was a sandbox and you just inserted modules into your campaign whenever and wherever you wanted to? Remember when companies like Judges Guild and TSR produced short standalone modules not tied to any setting or campaign? Remember when they cost 5 bucks (ok, we can’t do print books for 5 bucks anymore, but we can do that for the pdfs)? Remember when you directed the action independently of what the “world” rules said was there? We do, and in response we decided to fill the gap with our One Night Stands and Saturday Night Specials series.

These modules are designed to be played over the course of 1–2 nights. Each is a sandbox style short adventure (One Night Stands) or a short dungeon crawl (Saturday Night Specials).

Frog God Games knows that in this day and age, sometimes a gamemaster just needs a short trek to take his players on, or to fill those regular gaps and interludes in his campaign. Sometimes its just fun to enter a dungeon and kill things for a night! Old school feel is the trademark of these product lines. Look for easy deaths and tough puzzles. Frog God Games is not made for rookie players.

These series are designed as stand alone modules and are typically between 24 and 32 pages. We have designed just one piece of cover art for each series in order to keep the price point low (though the cover art is rockin’, and the interiors and maps are all of usual Frog God Games quality!). All of these books will be released in both Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Swords and Wizardry format.

The nice part about these books is that some of the best authors in the industry, including Matt Finch, Casey Christofferson, Patrick Lawinger, Anthony Pryor, Nate Paul, WDB Kenower, Scott Casper and James C. Boney have been enticed to write for us. You may even see some work from Old Tsathogga himself in these soon as well!

The Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti
Another of the One Night Stand Series, Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti is an adventure for a party of 4-8 characters of fourth through seventh level. A century ago or more, when the town of Cholagadi was just a frontier fort on the coast, Madaro-Shanti was the most powerful city-state in the entire Ambicuaria Jungle. Its citizens were highly advanced in the arts of magic, and even retained some vestiges of magical quasi-technologies perhaps more ancient than humankind itself. Their prosperity made for jealous enemies, none more covetous than the powerful and sorcerous Kiengaa Tribe of the deep jungles. The Kiengaa plotted against Madaro-Shanti, making dark pacts with the monstrous ape-centaurs known as the Borsin, and with the monkey-faced, snake-like monsters known as the Hanu-Naga. Once this terrible, unnatural army was gathered, the Kiengaa and their allies laid siege to Madaro-Shanti itself.

As the walls of Madaro-Shanti fell, and the invaders swarmed into the city, the high priest of the city closed himself within the royal shrine, praying to all the gods for intervention. Yet none of the gods answered his prayers until the last – and that was Ojala, whom the people of Madaro-Shanti knew as a god of evil and treachery. A deadly bargain was struck that night, and true to his promise, Ojala caused a horrible wasting disease to strike the besieging army. But the full extent of the evil god’s treachery became clear when the surviving people of Madaro-Shanti themselves began to succumb to the same disease which had slain their enemies. Within a fortnight, all the people of Madaro-Shanti had either died of the plague or scattered into the depths of the predator-filled jungle.

In only a few years, the city was overgrown by the jungle and fell into ruin, but the magical disease was to have one final consequence. Not only did the contagion affect the Kiengaa and the Madaro-Shanti – it also infected the mind of a powerful nature-spirit that inhabited the surrounding jungles. The nature-spirit Cho-Odaa, driven mad by the disease and hungry for vengeance against all humankind, has discovered the means to exact a terrible reckoning.

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4.80/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Good, solid module that lives up to the product line's name!

5/5

I bought this module in October for pretty much it's assigned purpose. The chap who was supposed to be running our day session's PC had a critical failure and we needed an adventure as a back-up with only a week's notice. This module fitted in perfectly, being the right level and number for one of the other parties I run for, and required a minimal amount of work to convert the plot and some of the fluff to fit in with my own homebrew world. (The boss of the module fitted very nicely in with the themes of that party, despite them being Evil-aligned!)

We actually didn't need it in October, so I saved until now, March to run it. It proven to be a good day's adventure. We got to the end of the adventure in a little under tweleve hours (including short breaks for two meals), though I skipped a few of the less interesting animal/mook encounters, and the party elected to skip a couple of others not central to the plot. (Given as they were the bottom end of the module's level range, this was rather a wise use of their time and resources, as at 4th level, they weren't able to clear out the mooks with area effect attacks (e.g. Fireball!) as easily.) So, with a slightly higher leel party, or just a good knuckling down, you CAN in fact play through this module in one sitting.

Printer friendly, which I really like. I love Paizo's adventure paths, I really do, but printing them out to use is very wasteful of ink, even in greyscale; I don't mind colour maps, but I prefer the rest to be on white backgrounds, not coloured!

One or two minor map niggles (on building didn't appear to be orienataed the same way on the floor plans as the local area map). And in one place the text next to what was a couple of hand-out pictures was refering to the other picture. But these are only minor niggles easily dealt with, and not enough for me to dock marks (since I've had this problem, and worse, with all sorts of modules!)

Otherwise, presentation was good, and it was easy to read.

The puzzles were enough to keep the players mind's working, without being overwhelming, and the change of pace was definately welcome.

The final boss and the last roleplaying encounter were perhaps a bit thin on exposition as to what to do with the latter and the reason for the former, though the boss fight itself keep the PCs worried without overwhelmining them.

Which is not bad, considering that the monsters were mostly fairly basic stock (e.g. mostly melee) and my players are fairly good optimisers; but a lot of modules, I didn't feel I needed to buff anything (other than for the basic adjustments of my own houserules).

Overall, a good solid module - a darn sight better than some of the 3.5 converted AD&D modules I've been running of late - well worth the price of the PDF if you need a solid adventure in an emergancy!

Frog God will be my first stop if such an event occurs again!


Terrific, jungle adventure with an awesome Pulp-vibe

5/5

This adventure is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving 27 pages of content for the excursion to theruins of ancient Madaro-Shanti, so let's check it out!

This being an adventure-review, it contains SPOILERS.

Potential players might want to skip to the conclusion!
...
All right, let's get on with it!

So, there was this ancient, yet local civilization called Madaro-Shanti that was brought down by a great evil and betrayed by one of its vile gods. This background does not bode well, but the reason for the PCs exploring the ruins is actually quite interesting: A pioneer-town is threatened by mysterious black clouds that slowly kill off the jungle's plants and drive away the animals and the lead points towards the jungle ruins of Madaro-Shanti. The PCs get henchmen to carry gear/mules etc. and are fitted out to explore the ruins with a generous time-limit: They have about a month to solve the mystery, enough to venture back and forth, should the need arise and it very well might. As soon as the PCs enter the clouded areas (which btw. don't have detrimental effects on the PCs - a bit of a wasted chance there), strange things start to happen along-side the random encounters on the 3-day trip: The adventure provides several mood-setting encounters of strangely behaving animals, foreshadowing dreams and, when played right by the DM, a sense of ancient dread should continuously grow during the trip to culminate in the PC's arrival in the old ruin-town. It should be noted that a player-friendly map of the whole region along a grided, player-friendly overview-map of the ruins is provided.

There is not much left of ancient Madaro-Shanti, though - apart from a ruined temple-complex, fort and gate-house (which are not very detailed), the palace with its well will draw the attention of the PCs and serve as the focus of much of their adventuring here - only, though, when they manage to defeat the small army of borsins (centaur-like ape-abominations) that have taken residence here and fiercely guard the ruins.

Hopefully, the PCs a smart enough to explore the well of the city, a series of 5 vertically-aligned chambers with, dare I say it? PUZZLES! Cue in "Hallelujah"-chants, finally an adventure with PUZZLES. Essentially, the well features two shafts , the fill shaft as well as the drain shaft and the central rooms. By interpreting clay-skulls (which contain the solutions and are provided as small artworks on the player handout), the PCs can avoid the deadly traps and, even better, via the correctly applied logic, determine how to operate the valves, their reward for this being that walls in the palace's dungeon are moved and thus grant access to more treasure. Not strictly making solving the puzzles mandatory, this makes for a nice scaling of success and lets hack-happy groups ignore them. Everybody wins! If you think the mechanism is too complex, fret not, for two vertical and a top-down map are provided, illustrating the well and making it very easy to run this part. I SO hope we'll see more puzzles like this in future adventures! A total BLAST!

After that, the PCs will hopefully start to explore the palace and boy, the two levels of the palace and 1 level dungeon beneath it offer some rather challenging encounters: The basic theme for this adventure is monkeys (seeing that a corrupted nature spirit is behind the clouds and his brethren want him cured, an interesting angle) and from ghoul monkeys to monkey-headed nagas and the aforementioned ape-centaurs, the challenging encounters herein will definitely test the mettle of your PCs, one might even say they could go bananas. *Put 2 bucks into the bad pun box*The creatures not included in the PFRPG-bestiaries of course get their own, new statblocks. Another theme of the palace and its dungeon is the wonder of ancient, magical defenses and curses in particular - whether the PCs try to carry off a valuable statue, encounter cursed thrones or stumble across the remains of a now defunct trap that lets massive rocks levitate around, the sense of wonder that should accompany such an exploration permeates every nook and cranny of the ruins, ranging from old scriptures the PCs can try to decipher over fallen kings they can question to mysterious statues of the now fallen pantheon.

Finally, whether the PCs find the hidden (cursed) minting chamber or not, the PCS will find the last survivors of Madaro-Shanti, 3 individuals not necessarily hostile and finally confront the black-pudding turned nature spirit...whom they actually don't have to fight! In an approach all too rarely seen, the preferable solution for the problem is actually curing the spirit, making a peaceful solution of the final encounter possible. I approve and love this approach!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice a single glitch. Layout adheres to a mostly b/w-2-column-standard with the notable exceptions of the beautiful maps. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks, thus making it easier to navigate. While the "One Night Stand"-line only promised one night of gaming, I can guarantee that the amount of content herein will keep your group occupied for longer! The awesome wonder of exploration, the creepy, small details on the way to the ruins and therein, all these components come together in one glorious, cool exploration that hearkens back to days where adventuring was about a sense of wonder. Add to that the challenging encounters, new beasts and especially the VERY cool puzzle and we get a definite recommendation for Scott Caspar's excellent sojourn to the jungle - my final verdict will be 5 stars and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval - this will find its way into my campaign.

Endzeitgeist out.


A solid old school dungeon romp.

4/5

Jungle Ruins of Madaro Shanti by Frog God Games

This product is 32 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, and credits. (3 pages)

Introduction (7 pages)
This is four 4-8 characters of 4-7th levels. This gives a history of the adventure, GM notes, player background with plot hook. Basic info on a small town, rumors, NPC's for the expedition supplied by the town, random encounter table, stat blocks for the monsters and 8 special encounters. There is also two full page maps, one of the jungle and one of what's left of the ruins.

The Ruins (6 pages)
This section talks about the two primary buildings still left other than the Palace. Which is the main Gatehouse and Plaza. There is two encounters here and one trap. There is also a series of bronze wheels that do varies things that I won't get into. Basically it is a puzzle that can and does effect later parts of the adventure. There is two maps of the Plaza but not one of the Gatehouse.

The Palace (5 pages)
This has maps of the palace and 12 encounters with in. There is a few interesting locations and encounters in this section.

The Dungeon (9 pages)
This part has 6 encounters including one that could lead to a interesting Roleplaying and 4 traps. There is maps of all the levels of the dungeon and a section on concluding the adventure at the end.

It ends with a OGL and ads. (2 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ok, a very old school style to the artwork. Layout and editing where good I didn't notice any obvious errors. This adventure has a very interesting history and set up. It is a fairly straight forward wilderness trek followed by a dungeon crawl to accomplish a task. A very old school feel to the design and setup, including the puzzles in the Plaza that might not be so obvious. Which while neat could also frustrate players a bit. While the set up and background especially where really well done, I do have a couple of critics. I would have liked to have seen more information about the starting town. A map maybe and a few key NPC's at least names with a blurb about them, along with what it looks like. A GM can do that themselves but it would have been nice to have as a starting point.

Secondly I would have liked more information about the journey the basics needed is there but a bit about the environmental hazards and a few complex encounters along the way would have really added to this a lot. My final critic is the lack of a map for the gatehouse. While it is a simple design it still would have been nice to have a little map for it. So great setup, ok start and a solid dungeon romp. I am going to give this one a 4 star review. Good in a old school way, but I felt it could have been great with a bit more work.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Excellent Old School Dungeon Crawl

5/5

So I had just finished reading FGG's excellent "Death in the Painted Canyon" module when I picked this module up. Expectations were high after reading DitPC. Inside this module, we get a real old school style dungeon crawl- the ruins of an ancient city set in a jungle. I'm going to divide this module into four parts-Intro, and Parts 1, 2 and 3. Note- my Parts 1-3 are the order in which they are presented in the module. Due to the open nature of the module, they are not necessarily the order in which the PCs have to go through the encounters. I'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.
Intro:
The intro is pretty brief, but that's ok. The PCs learn that dark clouds emanating from the jungle are threatening the city. After possibly hiring some guides, if they're smart, the PCs are on their way. It's a pretty short journey to the temple, but the author gives a nice table of some ideas to liven up the journey. Short, sweet, but sets the mood nicely.
Part 1-Gate and Well:
Most likely, the PCs will encounter a rather well guarded gate first. Already, the kid gloves are off. PCs will probably have to think their way around/through the gate. Once in the city, the PCs will come across a well. The author did an outstanding job of creating a puzzle-filled mini-dungeon within the well. The PCs can avoid it, but if they take the time to solve its mysteries they'll be rewarded later on.
Part 2- The Palace:
The PCs have the chance to explore a two story palace. What I like about the palace is it has a nice mix of encounters/traps, but not overwhelming, just enough to make the PCs a little cocky and maybe a little foolhardy when they reach the more deadly dungeon beneath it. My one criticism is due to the nature of my players. If there is ever a multiple storied building with a dungeon beneath it, my PCs NEVER go up. They know that the main villain is always in the dungeon and no prospect of treasure sways them otherwise.
Part 3- The Dungeon:
This part really brings it and is my favorite part of the module, second being the cleverly designed well. This dungeon is brutal with monsters and traps. What I really like is that the traps make sense for the dungeon (basically guarding the dead royalty) and they add a lot of flavor and atmosphere. By the end, your players will be afraid to look at anything sideways for fear of it blasting, frying, or cursing them to death.
Conclusion:
This differs from DitPC in that this is more of a straightforward dungeon crawl than the investigation/search/combat style of DitPC. However, the combats with very unique monsters and atmospheric traps makes it just as fun to read (and I'm assuming play). Stupid PCs beware, though, this isn't a "safe" module. If you are charge in recklessly, you will die.


Dark Archive

Sounds pretty cool, but that is a really long blurb. :)


Reviewed.

@Dark_Mistress: Yes it is cool, in a steamy vermin and monkey infested jungle sort of way.

Did I mention there are monkeys? Oh yes... there are indeed.

Dark Archive

Nice review. Write more. Only 89 more to go before I stop saying that. :)


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Nice review. Write more. Only 89 more to go before I stop saying that. :)

I'll get right on that. It may take me a while.


Oh and Vic, or to whomever controls these pages, there is a hyphen in the title: Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti. If that makes a difference, I am not sure.


Definitely liked that review; reads like you really got it.

~Scott "-enkainen" Casper


Scottenkainen wrote:

Definitely liked that review; reads like you really got it.

~Scott "-enkainen" Casper

The pleasure was all mine. :)

(Though if my players get it into their heads to go to the tropics, they will get to experience it as well.)


Nice review, Dark Sasha!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

With beer in one hand and cigar tightly clenched in teeth, reviewed. FGG is two for two in my book so far with their excellent "One Night Stands" series. I think I'm going to keep "Death in the Painted Canyon" for my home group and run "Jungles" at my local comic/game store (Jetpack Comics). This adventure is a textbook example of excellent adventure design of a dungeon crawl for an aspiring adventure writer (like myself).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dark Sasha wrote:
Oh and Vic, or to whomever controls these pages, there is a hyphen in the title: Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti. If that makes a difference, I am not sure.

Finally made my Perception check after six months... title fixed!

Dark Archive

Reviewed... finally.

Frog God Games

Thanks for the reviews, guys! :D


Reviewed here and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Frog God Games

Awesome review, Endzeitgeist! Thank you for taking the time to do one.


I don't normally critique reviews, but I wanted to comment on the suggestion that an opportunity was missed to have the cursed cloud cover affect the PCs. Having the environment degrade the PCs is very Gygaxian, which I would normally endorse wholeheartedly, but perhaps it would be too Gygaxian in this case. There was already a danger of being too "Isle of the Ape", what with the shared jungle theme.

If someone running Jungle Ruins wanted to have the cloud cover cause any noticeable detriment to the PCs, I would then bump the recommended levels up at least by 1 for the adventure.

~Scott "-enkainen" Casper


Well, yeah, it would be very Gygaxian and that#s exactly what I would have added: Add a desecrate-effect and a disease or a mild poison and there you go. ^^ But that's my preference and I still went 5 stars, so...well. It's an awesome module.

Frog God Games

Thanks for the review Aotrscommander!

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