Saturday, July 30, 2011

Siege of Bordrin’s Watch 1 of 2

        I'm going to split Siege of Bordrin's watch (SBW) into two parts because the adventure has two distinct stages. In the first part we introduce the players to the town of Overlook which from reading ahead a few modules will be a major hub of the adventures for a while. The town is a dwarven outpost with multiple concentric squares of walls separating it into districts each with its own personality and flavor. The module spends a fair amount of time describing each and adding random facts about each of the places mentioned in the key. My favorite was a bed and breakfast in the nice part of town run by an elderly couple who were secretly worshipers or Asmodeus. I couldn't help myself from adding that little tidbit into the campaign as a side adventure. There are a bunch of other really well planned and detailed locations to sprinkle into the game and the city is well detailed with its politics and such. 

    The real meat of the adventure starts with the group going to a meeting with the local council. The meeting is attended by numerous adventurer types that have been called from all over to defend Bordrin's Watch from the oncoming orc invasion that was hinted at in issue 156 (Rescue at Rivenroar) The adventurers are tapped to travel to a monastery and warn the priests there that the orcs are coming and they should evacuate facility. Now this being a dungeons and dragons adventure of course the heroes arrive late and find that the orcs have overrun the temple and have infested the place with dead dwarves everywhere. This part of the module includes 6 encounters: the entrance area, temple, underground sleeping area, stairs to the forge, and forge. The encounters in this part are varied. The first is a large open courtyard with lots of room to maneuver and lots of things to run around blocking line of sight. The second has a good monster selection with a good controller and some fodder for it to move around. The sleeping area is another wide open space with lots of details to use in the fight. The third is a long descending staircase with archers and a drake that harasses the players. The forge has a NPC that comes to the aid of the players and lots of fire everywhere. 
     I felt that this part of the module really shone and each encounter was different than the rest. The challenges felt difficult without being overwhelming.

Final Call
Ease of use: 8/10
Very easy to run, a quick glance through the tactics and you are ready to go. The well detailed city of Overlook really adds to the value of this module, even after you finish you will want to keep at least that section in your GM binder for future use.

Difficulty: 6/10
The encounters are difficult without being overwhelming. A good use of minions makes some of the fights seem very difficult at first because of numbers but soon the players will whittle those away into the real meat of the group.
Originality of encounters: 6/10
The encounters are each different than the last, in particular the descent down the staircase is well designed.

Overall: 7/10

Overall a well designed set of encounters

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