Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress (WotC)

AoNF is the last adventure in the P-series, stretching from level 17-20. Naturally, I expected that the Paragon-feel would be even more present in the third installment. The idea is very promising. Urishtar, a crafty shadow dragon, has found an ancient fortress in the Shadowfell, filled with ancient knowledge about the passage of the dead from the mortal world: knowledge that enables her to divert life energy from its proper fate – or in simpler terms, she is stealing souls from right under the nose of the Raven Queen. Sounds like an awesome concept with great potential. Unfortunately, the potential is squandered and the adventure is just another railroad from A to Z with a bunch of monsters in between to defeat. The players start out by being hired when it becomes clear that something is interfering with how the souls usually pass into the afterlife. Luckily for the players, they bump into a shadar-kai who knows the way into the Shadowfell, through a series of caverns nearby. They go through the caverns, access the tomb, defeat its guardians and go through the portal to the Shadowfell, which happens to be within a few hundred feet of the ancient fortress recently discovered by the shadow dragon. From there, they head into the fortress, one chamber at the time, ending with the dragon. Now, I feel it’s important to stress here that the combats are for the most part really good. There is a decent variation in monsters, with some really great combat situations in AoNF (my favorite being a chamber with no floor, so the fight will take place while players jump between small 5’ square islands trying to avoid a drop 60’ down into a very chilly fog) and the encounters are spaced out in a way that gives realistic openings for the players to rest. There are some opportunities for roleplaying that could be fun (negotiating with a Dracolich, striking a deal with two ghost sages and of course the Shadar-Kai that accompanies the players a good bit of the way) and the final battle should be very memorable. For those who played WoW, think Vael! So, in closing, I guess that’s my problem with this module. It’s just too straight-forward an adventure for my taste, at least at that level. But it has too many first-rate ideas to ignore.
Rating:* * * *

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