Nine Towers -PDF Review
"Learn the adventure, the setting, and the motivations of the various NPCs. Careful preparation should give the Gamemaster a deep enough understanding that the right responses will spontaneously emerge and make perfect sense for the situation." (lifted from page 85 of this 88 page Behemoth)
Better advice could not have been written.
Like most (if not all) of White Haired Man's adventures, Nine Tower's takes place in a grittier, lower magic setting them most fantasy games. Take the time to learn the background of the setting, Kith’takharos, as it will add your appreciation of the adventure.
As to the adventure. How to describe it without giving away the plot? This is from the blurb itself:
"The ruthless archaeologist-mage Lenar Hoyt has stolen the most holy artifact of the Bright Water Swamp Men. The tribe holds Kith'takharos responsible, and will destroy the village unless the Order of the Jade Leaf retrieves Tarshal'din's Shining Spear. As the Swamp Man warriors gather for the assault, Hoyt activates the first Teleportation Tower."
Hmm, that is much of the plot I guess. Still, in its simplest summary, the players are on a recovery mission. A timed recovery mission. Thankfully, there are multiple choices for the adventure hook, so it can be tailored more to the party as opposed to shoehorning them into the plot.
This is not a dungeon crawl, although there are rooms and corridors to explore at points in the adventure. It requires more thinking and less swinging. Traveling is the key here, much of it in non standard ways (teleportation anyone?). Some events can be quite deadly (falling comes to mind) that players have little control over (about the only negative that quickly comes to mind).
The use of sidebars for added background and other information is pretty close to perfect. It keeps the flow of reading of the adventure uninterrupted, yet allows one to pause for added detail.
My best undereducated guess is two to three sessions to play out this adventure on a face to face tabletop session, then add one more session for the time lost using FG2 (VTT games always seem to take just a wee bit longer to complete in my experience).
Now, this review has just touched upon the PDF that accompanies the Fantasy Grounds 2 Adventure. Why have I covered just the PDF at this point? Because it is no light weight. It is easily worth the price of admission on its own. It is well written and edited. It is a professional piece of work that stands on its own. I've purchased adventures for use with Fantasy Grounds that offered no accompanying PDF at a higher price that left me regretting my purchase within minutes. All that and truth be told, reading the PDF has left me no time to play with the FG2 software. I'll peek at that tomorrow or wednesday and give a follow up.
I'm going to give this a 4 out of 5 star review - a full 5 stars to those that truly dig the setting Kith’takharos. This rating is for the PDF alone. Once I've given the FG2 software a shake with this I'll give the full review and rating.
The Nine Towers is a Savage Worlds adventure for 4-6 Seasoned characters.
Much thanks again to Andugus over at White Haired Man for letting me get my hands on a review copy
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