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Yes, the rumors are true! After a year of development completely revising and expanding the original Rise of the Drow trilogy, it is done.
The adventures—which scored solid 5-star reviews by ENDZEITGEIST—have evolved into a single premium-quality hardback book due for gaming store shelves in June 2014.
You don't have to wait that long though; the PDF is available right now on Adventureaweek.com!
WHAT AWAITS YOU WITHIN RISE OF THE DROW:
—Foreword by industry legend Ed Greenwood.
—Writing by Stephen Yeardley, Jonathan G. Nelson, Ed Greenwood, Owen KC Stephens, Christina Stiles, Brian Berg, Jason Stoffa, Kevin Mickelson as well as Mike Myler and several others!
—Breathtaking artwork by Jen Page, Satine Phoenix, Todd Gamble, Kerem Beyit, Mates Laurentiu, Rick Hershey, Jacob Blackmon and many more!
—A meticulously woven tale driven by the vicious Matron Maelora and her plans for total domination of the Underworld before conquering all of Aventyr!
—The other power-hungry drow houses of Holoth and the numerous plots that persist under the heel of House Gullion.
—Three main paths for the PCs to explore with options to take your adventures even farther
—Naraneus the Spider Goddess, an innovative drow deity employing the dark elves as her pawns in the Underworld.
—New and revised maps by 3x ENnie award winning cartographer Todd Gamble.
—Beautiful page design by Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games.
—The dwarven trade city of Embla fleshed out in even greater detail.
—A fully expanded Fungi Forest spanning over 50 pages with new spells and items.
—The dwarven capital of Stoneholme by Kevin Mickelson (author of Mask of Death).
—Jorumgard the Deep Dragon Lair by Owen KC Stephens of Rogue Genius Games.
—Vethin’s Hold, a new underground city of trade and treachery by Jason Stoffa of Fat Goblin Games.
—The foul drow House Invidious, developed by Brian Berg of TPK Games.
—Holoth, the mighty drow city of the Underworld completely revised and expanded by Christina Stiles of Kobold Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Christina Stiles Presents.
—The gargantuan Temple of the Spider Goddess by Joshua Gullion of AdventureAWeek.com.
—House Gullion’s home, Tolgorith Tower, which spans across 6 maps and includes over 30 different locations for PCs to explore.
—Supplemental histories on each member of House Gullion.
—The poisonous demiplane of Venom.
—Multiple ways for the PCs to end the adventure and many more ways to continue with the Rise of the Drow Epilogue: The Commander of Malice or new adventures in the Underworld.
—New artifacts like the powerful soul-stealing Vidrefacte!
—New traps like ochre jelly dust!
—New special abilities such as the third eye of fear!
—New feats like Fused Weapon Fighting and Clanmind!
—New mundane items such as giant green-spored parasol mushroom poison and Fungi Forest kombucha!
—New magical items like the coin of singing and mycelosuits!
—Two new domains: Mushroom and Drow!
—Loads of new spells perfect for adventuring underground!
—New monsters, far too numerous to list here.
—and much, much more!
Need more reasons? How about some screenshots? ;)
Check out Rise of the Drow here!
|Acanthus the Sagacious|
So, Adventure-a-Week has released its mega-adventure, "Rise of the Drow", and it's a fine product indeed. I've got this and the Random Encounter cards, so there may be a spoiler or two here, although I'll try to avoid them.
The original trilogy threw parties into AaW's take on the Underworld, and the story took PCs from a first encounter through to a huge final encounter. It was a great way of introducing players to the pitfalls and perils of below-surface adventuring, but it was clear that there was room for more, and this is what is now available.
Just about everything has been expanded, from the approach to the way into the Underworld all the way through to the final events. The dwarven enclave of Embla and the drow city of Holoth have been expanded, as ahve the mushroom fields near by and the rota of residents living close to both urban centers. There are more races, classes and the action is much more involved. A party that deals with everything fully deserves to reach the upper levels of experience, but even if a group decided NOT to play everything, then it will still be challenged and entertained in equal measure.
I like the way the story flows, and especially the decision-making that is involved. Encounters are varied through out, and it is easy to "bite of more than can be chewed" in several places. Also, not every encounter is "clear cut", and sometimes the risk/reward ratio has to be carefully considered. This means that some sites need to be revisited, keeping the whole adventure very fresh throughout.
As I've said, I also have the Random Encounter cards: in case there isn't enough for the PCs to do, here are 120 other events around the two cities and in the Underworld itself, just to keep them busy. These are frequently presented as trades, deals, problems to be solved, or puzzles to overcome. It seems the characters on them are backer-created from the Kickstarter that brought us the book, and most have the name, a little back story, the important characteristics and the event that occurs. How the PCs deal with each one is up to them, but there is the AaW suggestion if you wish to use it.
Overall, this is an interesting book, with much that can be pulled in all kinds of directions. Indeed, when I look at some of the content, it is clear that some areas could be expanded again, if a GM wishes. Otherwise, thare is so much to "take" from it, you will be busy for months to come.