Thursday, January 4, 2018

Let's Read: Greyhawk Adventures (Part 11)

Yes! I am still doing this! Two more sections to go. This time I'm going through Adventures in Greyhawk, a collection of mini-adventures set in various places, and geared towards parties of varying level.

First up is Horse Sense, a zero-level adventure (more about that in part 12 of this series), which could be located just about anywhere. The PCs have to deal with a fire in a stable. Not exactly the stuff of legends, but it is for zero-level characters.

Next we have Beaming Up, also for zero-level characters, who are challenged to raise a 100 pound wooden beam without using their hands (magic only). Geared towards apprentice magic-users, the adventure hinges on getting the proper spell components (for example, mercury for Tenser's Floating Disc) to succeed.

These first two are very generic, as might be expected given that the level of character they're for.

Next is Diver Down, for 4th to 5th level characters, set on any island. The PCs are hired to salvage a shipwreck, but there is more to the assignment than meets the eye. It does feature a seldom-used environment (underwater), but I doubt that any party isn't going to see the twist at the end coming a mile away. Still, it's a serviceable adventure that would have benefited from a map or diagram of the wreck.

Next is The Entrance to the Valley of the Mage, for PCs of 5th to 6th level, set in, well, the Valley of the Mage. There's no plot to speak of, other than "The PCs go into the valley and encounter stuff." While there are some commonalities with the Vale of the Mage adventure module that came out in 1990 (the mage's drow lieutenant Tysiln San, for instance, appears in both and there are of course Valley Elves), this adventure doesn't seem to have a lot in common with the much larger treatment. It almost makes me wonder why they'd try to tackle such a large thing in just a couple of pages.

Next we have The Rescue of Ren, for 3rd to 6th level characters and set in the City of Greyhawk. The PCs are hired to rescue the head of the Trader's Union, Ren o' the Star (who is also detailed earlier in the book). The whole thing is a set up, of course, and since the Trader's Union sends the PCs to the exact place where he's being held, there's little more here than two encounters. The NPCs are fairly well fleshed out, though, and could certainly be used for more interesting fare in the city.

Finally, we have The House of Cards, for any number of PCs of any level, set in Elredd (on the Wild Coast). In my mind, this is a model for what this section should have been; a very detailed, flexible, single encounter area. In this case, it's an inn and gambling den, with a lot of potentially interesting NPCs and stuff that can happen, people that can be hired or interacted with, intersections with the local Thieves' Guild, and so forth. There's no plot, but there are potentially many plots, which makes it ideal for this sort of short-and-sweet treatment.

In all, this is a pretty forgettable chapter, but that last piece really makes up for the lacking parts of the others, in my opinion.

One more to go!

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