Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Review - Lost Hall of Tyr (Kickstarter Edition)

As I am writing this up Lost Hall of Tyr: A 5e Adventure (Dungeon Grappling support) just needs less than $400 to be funded. If you read my previous post you know that I am pretty excited about this project.
Also, +Douglas Cole sent me a Review Copy for me to read through. And these are my spoiler free thoughts on it.

In this current state Lost Hall of Tyr is 52 pages (not including the cover and back cover).
Introduction/Background - 4 pages
Adventure - 19 pages
Wilderness Travel Rules - 3 pages
Bestiary - 16 pages
Quick Start: Dungeon Grappling - 2 pages
Preface/Legal Jargon/Table of Contents/Art Placeholder Pages - the rest of the pages

First, and like my previous post, the layout is great. The coloring and the borders for the layout really have set the bar on what a 5th Edition adventure should look like. Yes, a thousand times better than WotC's layouts for their adventures.

Introduction/Background
This section gives a brief description of the setting and where the adventure will take place. And rumor has it there is a campaign setting in the works for where this adventure takes place.
Also, there is a brief story that sets up the adventure and the hook for the characters. There is also information on how to tie this adventure into your own setting. Though, there are two things I want to address:
1. No where in the Introduction or the Preface does it state what level the characters should be and how many characters the adventure is designed for.
2. There is a weapon mentioned in the introduction, "magical against all foes and as a +1 magical weapon against a creature type." (I left out the type of weapon and creature type) But I don't know if it is meant to be +1 against all foes and a +2 against the creature type or is it supposed to be treated as non-magical +0 against all foes except magical +1 against the creature type.

Adventure
*When reading through this the maps were not included just the placeholders for where they would be.*
First, there is something that needs to be addressed before I continue on with this section. There is NO flavor text. As in, there is no blocked text that is dedicated to the GM to read to the players. Personally, this doesn't bother me at all. This might be a turnoff for some but I think this also helps with adapting this adventure into whatever setting the GM is running.
I like the writing layout Douglas has done with this adventure. He has created four different categories that helps the GM with running the adventure.
Challenges - Describes the challenges that the PCs will have to overcome in this section. Whether it is NPCs or an obstacle that is their way.
Concealed - Describes some skill checks they may be needed to achieve a challenge. Also information that may be hidden from the PCs.
Alternatives - Describes some alternative ways to deal with the challenge in the section.
Rewards - Describes the rewards/treasure the PCs can find in this section. Some rewards are just being able to bypass the challenge.
Though, this adventure was written for 5th edition, there is enough information with this writing layout that the adventure could easily be converted to another system.

Wilderness Travel
This section of the book shouldn't be treated as something optional. Surviving in the wilderness is essential to this adventure. This adventure is a fairly long trek and a challenge within itself. In this section there are all sorts of rules and information on how to survive in the wilderness. Such as, how much food/water the PCs should have, hunting/gathering, preserving food, weather and climate. Again, this shouldn't be optional in this adventure.

Bestiary
This section of the book describes all the NPCs that will be found in this adventure. There is a description for each NPC and their stat blocks. There are familiar monsters that most GMs should know but some of them have been modified to fit this campaign setting. Such as, the goblinoids are considered fae in this setting. There are a total of fifteen NPCs in the Bestiary.

Quick Start: Dungeon Grappling
This section of the book is also very important and shouldn't be ignored or treated as optional. Douglas has created an awesome system when it comes to grappling. The preface of this adventure also describes the importance of this system. If you get this adventure and you plan on running it I highly recommend that you read through this quick start guide and know how Dungeon Grappling works and then show your players how it works. Some of the Challenges in this adventure use this system so it is important to know. Encourage your players to take advantage of this system. You can learn more about Dungeon Grappling here.

I didn't have any art or the maps but from this Review Copy I could run this adventure now without any of the maps. And that is an important thing to me; being able to just use the text to run an adventure. I look forward to receiving both my PDF and Physical Copy after it is completed. There is still plenty of time to back this project. $7 for PDF backer level and $20 for PDF and Physical Copy backer level. Also, the more money this project receives the more that will be added to it!

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