Saturday, April 4, 2009

Death's Reach (Wizards of the Coast)

In the latest installment of the H-P-E-series, The heroes are headed to the Shadowfell to pay a visit to the Raven Queen, but when they arrive near her abode, they find it overrun by Orcus' minions. After liberating the place, they heroes meet up with RQ herself and are pointed towards Death's Reach, an ancient place in the Shadowfell, where gods can not go, where a horror from ancient times, the primordial Timesus is kept captive; Someone has penetrated Death Reach and is trying to unleash Timesus and his armies on the world. Yeah, guess who? I like that they tied the hooks to the adventure in with the epic destinies form the PHB - although the deadly trickster hook is mindblowingly silly - "Hey there Neighbour! I just heard that some guys are planning to attack the Raven Queen and I thought you could make something of that information" Another thing that annoys me to no end, is the seemingly random monsters that have been used to populate the dungeon in the adventure. I mean, we are deep in the Shadowfell, a place that has been locked up by the gods and the key thrown away. What are aboleths, githyanki, chuuls, rakshasas doing there? Sure, it's somewhat explained, but still. DR definitely feels epic. I mean, 2 liches and 1 dracolich in the same adventure, and none of them are even remotely near being the BBEG? This epic tier stuff might need some getting used to. That's not to say that it's a bad adventure. There is some very interesting opportunities for a lot of roleplaying and several pages dedicated to those encounters (also a lot of information to be gathered). First and foremost with the Raven Queen, and also with the angel who is not all what she claims to be. There is a couple of interesting skill challenges, and some very cool encounters (The one with a room and 4 traps and a SC to solve a riddle could be a classic I think) - and not to forget, probably the coolest monster designed for D&D yet - The Worm of Ages. Overall though, it's going to need a hand to satisfy my players and their DM.
Rating:* * *

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