I ran this last weekend as a filler episode because half my group couldn’t make it so those who showed weren’t expecting much. Imagine my surprise when it ended up being a crowd favorite! A ton of clever decisions were made in the design of this tightly packed module.
Likes: A simple (not simplistic!) deductive puzzle slow-rolled over the course of 7 pages, 6 fleshed-out locations, 9+ NPCs (with various emotional states and micro-conflicts), relevant & quality thematic art (I know it’s all repurposed art but I think that argument would be missing the point in a product like this), a strong & relevant link to the Agents of Edgewatch AP volume 1 (so this doesn’t feel like a wasted evening of play).
Dislikes: Not much, really. The “combat” in this module is only relevant if the GM makes it relevant. The Tengu & Dwarf, respectively. There are zero reasons to draw your sword if you are running this out-of-the-box. It’s hard for me to even place this in the dislikes column but the statblocks take up a crazy amount of space so here it sits. The second thing is that I loved the decision to link a certain NPC’s emotional state to Corporal Kerr Batiste (from the AP) so much that I wish this approach had been taken with the rest of the NPCs. Again, these two gripes are not intended as gripes so much as two-things-I-would-fork-over-more-money-for-in-the-author’s-next-project-were-they-to-be-addressed.
Questions: Just one. The final reveal seems to negate nearly the entirety of chapter three in Devil in the Dreaming Palace. Am I seeing this wrong? I have two weeks to figure this out…
Super well done!