Adventure Review: BP3: The Prophecy Revealed (PFRPG) from Jeff Gupton and Blackbyrne Publishing

When we last left our heroes in the Dark Veil campaign from Blackbyrne Publishing, they were exploring the town of Gull’s Port in BP2: The Manor of Deceit. Now, in BP3: The Prophecy Revealed by Jeff Gupton, the PCs may finally realize the hand of fate guiding their path. Can they escort the Moonscale lizardfolk back to the Spider Islands? By now you know the drill… Things are not always what they seem and what truths will be revealed as they reach their destination?

Quite honestly I’ve enjoyed reading through the Dark Veil campaign so far. Jeff manages to toe the line between fighting and roleplaying challenges, which offers a much more well-rounded experience over the course of these adventures so far. The trick is to keep the roleplayers in the group just as happy as the roll-players and combat monsters. And through the first three modules he’s done that.

The battles themselves vary by area, type, and difficulty. Initially on a boat, then in the jungle, and finally in a temple complex. What I appreciate is the fact that though there are some combat challenges, there are also tricks and traps and areas that can be handled through skill challenges and roleplaying. It’s not one long dungeon crawl, slogging through room after room of monsters.

Though the artwork for BP3 continues to grow as it did in BP2, there were still a few things in this book that caught my attention. First of all, headings were not evenly applied throughout, or they were glossed over. For instance, though each section has a clear header and the “aftermath” of an encounter has a clear header, the beginning of each encounter is tough to find. So “S1-E2: Revenge on board!” kind of gets lost in the text, whereas if it had a clear title like the “aftermath” section, it would be easy to find. And “aftermath” shoudl be reduced to the same level of heading as “Area Features” and “Tactics.” I’m sure there was a reason it was done the way it was, but I’m not sure what.

My other issues are minor nits. I really liked the acting hints for the NPCs in the very first module of the series. Those hints have been removed in subsequent modules. So you get a bit of a description for the major NPCs in town, but only a vague notion of how to play them. I’d really like to see more of those hints – a tip towards body language and speech patterns at the very least – to help GMs figure out what was intended. It’s up to the individual GM of course whether they choose to use them or not, but having them would only add a sentence or two at most to each NPC description, so it wouldn’t have added up to much extra text in the book.

And lastly there’s an odd page break on the first page of “Section One” where the “Aftermath” heading appears on the page and the text for the section appears on the next. Orphaned headings drive me a bit nuts and it’s a minor tweak to fix.

Ultimately again, I think BP3: The Prophecy Revealed (PFRPG) offers plenty to like. Check it out at RPGNow along with the other great products from Blackbyrne Publishing! It’s been a great series of modules so far and at some point I hope to check out BP4: Sands of Despair – it sounds cheery!

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