Saturday, June 13, 2015

REVIEW - TBG-1: Manse on Murder Hill

Manse on Murder Hill
Product Description 
Low-level adventures are not just for newbies anymore!
This low-level adventure uses the familiar setup of a small village in desperate need of heroes, but with a twist. The players will pierce the veil surrounding the mysterious old house, the peculiar sounds emanating from within and curious entities that now dwell within. Why was this house abandoned in the first place? Are the villagers really as simple as they seem?
Our flagship product features illustrations by Stuart Robertson and David Guyll, cartography by Tim Hartin, interior and exterior maps, a roster of pre-generated player characters and hand-out materials for the players.
This is part one of a planned three part series.
Website -

Everything about this module drips beautiful!  
I am serious.  It's amazing.  The layout, artwork and the writing are top notch.  From now on this is one of the modules I am going to go to when I'm designing my own.  As usual, I am not going to give too many spoilers other than the above product description.  The layout really caught my attention, it has its own feel, although its mostly B&W, the little splashes of the blue make me smile.  It isn't the typical "old school" module look, but it does reference it a bit here and there (2 columns, B&W artwork, etc).  Now onto the actual writing.

First off, I'll say this, there isn't one thing that +Joe Johnston didn't think of.  There's great rumors (including false ones), everything is labelled well (all maps), there's player handouts, all the monsters & NPC's are stated out.  (Labyrinth Lord Compatible BTW).  There is political intrigue!  

The one thing I quite liked was that the town does not really have much in the way of adventuring gear.  This could be a interesting thing with some newb players that assume you can buy your bastard sword + 9 anywhere.  

There is an air of creepiness within the module (I refer you to the title).  There are shades of Lovecraft within the writing.  A good GM will play up the creepiness of the mansion.  Speaking of which there's some wonderful tables throughout the module that help to do just that. 

Another thing that I quite like (and strive to do as well), is to create adventures that are open ended as far as specific campaign settings are concerned.  Joe does just that.  This adventure can easily be plopped into your existing campaign world with little to no fuss. 

The adventure is labelled for a party of balanced 1st level characters with approx 6 -10 players.  (I'd love to get 10 players - side note).  Of course the author suggests that it is best to read thru the entire adventure first, and change/balance things the way you like.

Oh did I mention there's a few extra monsters? YUP! there's a few extra monsters. 

(don't swear Shane).....

A fucking love this adventure.  I can't wait to run it.  Considering I am going to be playing a little 5e I may go ahead and convert it, its either that or I'm running it as a one off with basic rules from 81.