John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

So ... An Evil Cleric. That's IT?

Well, I must admit it, I'm disappointed. Specifically in this module I bought from Paizo, Hungry Are the Dead, which is theoretically the capstone for the three-adventure arc spanning Hollow's Last Hope, Crown of the Kobold King, and this one, tying them together and wrapping them up.

And it does ... sorta. Kinda. A little bit. Not really. In fact, other than referencing a few NPCs and locations, it pretty much has nothing to do with the other two — and the other two have nothing to do with it. Oh sure, there are a couple of encounters here and there that have "this is a side effect of what's going on in Hungry Are the Dead" in the GM text, but given the nature of D&D, they could just as easily be random encounters.

All three modules are set in a lumbering town at the foot of a mountain, under which a dwarven civilization flourished, became decadent, and fell; and while Hollow's Last Hope is only tangentially related to the abandoned dwarven ruins, Crown of the Kobold King focuses on them pretty heavily, with lots of vague hints about "the horror below" and "the darkness deeper in the mountain" etc., etc.

So I finally pick up Hungry Are the Dead, expecting some kind of Durin's-Bane-Under-Moria badness to act as a climax to this mini-campaign arc, only to find that the big, bad evil consists of a cleric of one of the Pathfinder setting's various evil deities, searching for the first of seven seals to break to let loose his god. A seal, I should mention, which was put down there after the dwarven civilization fell and basically has nothing to do with any of the stuff that has come before. The adventure then helpfully goes on to suggest that finding and preserving the other six seals might make a good campaign seed.

Thanks, I never would have thought of that. But what about the dwarves??? Guh.

It's like if Return of the Jedi, instead of being about Luke, Darth, and the Empire, had been about Lando Calrissian turning into a time traveler who rides around in a blue box. I mean yeah, they're both SF (for sufficient quantities of SF), but you wouldn't blame the Star Wars enthusiast for standing up and doing a lot of "what-the-hell"ing.

All of which means, I suppose, that I'm just going to have to come up with something better myself — or find some other module and retrofit it. And it's not like Hungry Are the Dead was a complete waste — there are some cool individual encounters that I can lift and still use elsewhere. Still, it's disappointing to get all interested in the first two-thirds and then be let down by the payoff. Plus, y'know, setup time is a premium for me, so I was all eager to have a ready-made 1st - 6th story arc that I could just copy and paste 90% out of.

I'm not sure this group is cut out for delving into not-Moria anyway; jamesbarrett's halfling rogue in particular should be skulking in alleys and joining the thieves' guild, neither of which are going to be found this far from a major city. On the other hand, sirfox's dwarven fighter seems just the type. So ... we'll see. I'll at least finish out the current scenario using the setup we've got now and see what the players have to say then.

-The Gneech
Tags: adventure, dungeons & dragons, gaming
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