Wow, there is a lot here. I'd read good things about this one, so I decided to check it out.
I mostly liked it. Here's a checklist on how it played out:
- Tons of content. This is essentially an eight-hour mod that costs as much as some four-hour adventures.
- Challenging combat. The combat encountes--and the tactics mentioned within--are definitely designed to make this a challenging module for players!
- Storyline. The adventure unfolds in a nice way, as the party gets a somewhat mundane assignment that pretty quickly turns into something much worse. Much, much worse.
- Organization. While I also had some problems with this, it's clear that Jason Denton--the author--went out of his way to make this adventure easy to prep and run. Really laudable aspects here.
- Combat is maybe TOO challenging. I ran this with a full party of characters. The thing is, most of them were support-style characters with a few heavy (but fragile) hitters. Almost every combat was a TPK, to the point that I started adjusting the encounters so that they were something even easier than "Very Weak." Of course, this kind of thing also has a lot of variables, especially considering DMs and players.
- Some story beats don't fit together. I liked the plot overall, but there were a few points where the players really weren't connecting the dots. If you get into this situation, don't be affraid to lay some of the clues on thick.
- Easy to bypass big chunks of the adventure. I won't spoil where or how, but some clever-thinking characters can skip huge chunks of the content. (And, in one case, completely miss the adventure's magic item as a result.) In some ways this is good (as the adventure isn't on rails), but in other ways it leads to some sad players.
- Organization. Since the combat encounters are segmented in their own sections with all available information, it's easy to jump right to them...but then, some have bits and pieces that connect back to the narrative, so I often found myself flipping around from one combat section to another and then to the story again. The layout here is helpful in some regards, but it also tripped me up!
All in all, I enjoyed this one and would definitely run it again (and hopefully play as a player!). But some of the quirks won't make it for everyone!
[4 of 5 Stars!]