First level adventures are always a tricky thing to pull off. Do you go easy on a new wave of heroes? Do you smack the new heroes around a bit? Do you up the ante and make it possible for a TPK?
Well, honestly I think all of those possibilities are up to the combination of GM and players when the whole thing kicks off. But unless you’re developing your own adventure or improvising from the first scene, the author of the module you choose to use can also affect things from the get-go.
Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press has been writing adventures for a long time, so he knows just how much rope to give the players AND the GM – but he’s not going to protect the PCs from making poor decisions or mistakes. Where many low-level adventures fail to offer a ton of choices, sometimes railroading the PCs down a garden path – The Raven’s Call offers a wide range of choices. Plenty of hooks to get PCs involved and different ways to keep them not only interested, but busy once they arrive. Weighing in at 21 pages, with 17 pages of content and art on every other page, this PDF is chock full of possibilities for a Pathfinder campaign.
Though it’s an adventure idea that comes up frequently in fiction, saving a besieged or captured village from bandits is something I’ve not seen before in a module. But the village of Nargenstal definitely needs some help. It’s been overrun, with only a few villagers escaping capture or death, and the bulk of the population has been pressed into labor for the bandits.
What I really like is the flexibility of the adventure setup. The PCs can choose to go in with blades gleaming in the midday sun or use some stealth and even employ a bit of guardian magic to help encourage the bad guys to leave. But those choices lie firmly in the hands of the players. Will they play it smart or will they choose to be bold? Either way, things have the potential to go really well or horribly wrong. When or if the PCs succeed, there are even tips on what to do next (including the possibility of a visit to the Edge of the World, which would be a great way to link in another Midgard Adventure from Wolfgang).
The maps from Alyssa Faden, the interior art from Michael Perry, and the cover by artist Aaron Miller all work extremely well to set the stage for whatever your players choose to do. Images of the bandits, the palisade around the village, and much more really help to crystalize what Wolfgang had in mind for the PCs.
So if you’re looking for a great way to kick off a new campaign in Midgard, this is a terrific way to get one started. It’ll make your players think, which is something I think every GM is after to one degree or another.
For more details about…
- … Midgard Adventures: The Raven’s Call, look for it at DriveThruRPG or at the Kobold Press Store.
- … Open Design, check out the Kobold Press home page.
- … Midgard, check out the Midgard tag page at Kobold Quarterly which has all sorts of fun articles about various aspects of Wolfgang’s world.
- … The Defenders of Midgard or other Open Design/Kobold Press products, check out their listings at RPGNow.