Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DIE Alone: Howling Hill Part 1

The hill was dotted with strange stone mounds. They were clearly gravemarkers, but of a stone not native to this area, and so worn down by the centuries that their markings were faded beyond any recognition, though they seemed alien and painful to the eye. Near the top of the hill, Thakko came across the body of a dead man, a trail of fresh blood still snaking away between the mounds. A check revealed little and he had little of worth beyond a placebo potion and a few lucre coins.

Thakko followed the blood trail to the mouth of a tomb, its sealing stone shoved aside and lying broken on its side. Inside it smelt of stale air and dust, but Thakko unsheathed his mighty axe and went inside.

The inside was indeed a tomb, with bones and rags scattered everywhere. Curiously, there were many items left around, though much of it of little of value. After accidentally disturbing a pair of Large Spiders, Thakko braved a long hallway riddled with dart traps. The traps were old and ineffectual and only a single dart glanced harmlessly off his armour. At the end of the hallway, he came across a man near death. He fed the man a placebo potion and he soon became more coherent, though still badly wounded. 

This adventure was based on The Howler, by Random Order Creations, which I picked up primary because I liked the artwork and it was cheap. Its a standard, clear the dungeon and with a monster boss at the end, and as I mentioned the artwork is really fun. Unfortunately, I found the adventure itself a little uneven. Take the dart corridor for example. There is a chance every few feet of triggering a trap. Which all pretty basic, except the adventure never tells you how long the corridor actually is, so do you have to make four rolls, or ten? The Howler itself, a warped creature that eats magic and appears undead. Its actually a pretty good boss, unfortunately, the problem is that the Howler eats the magic from magic items, but its a low level adventure, so the hero might not even HAVE a magic object for the Howler to drain attack. As my hero was neither a cleric nor did he have any magic items, it made for kind of a boring fight.

That being said, stack the Howler up against a low level party that has had a few adventures under their belts, a few trinkets in their arsenal and thinks they know what they're doing and the Howler would make a pretty good adventure. 

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