Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: The Fall of Fairhaven

This post contains spoilers.

The Fall of Fairhaven is a Pathfinder adventure for levels 4-5 that was written specifically to make use of the miniatures included in the Reaper Bones Vampire level pledge from the kickstarter from last year.Not all of the minis, mind you, but everything appearing in the adventure is represented by a mini in from the kickstarter. This includes the innkeep, which actually turns out to be a potentially very interesting encounter. 

The background of the story involves an ancient red dragon, his succubus companion, their half dragon/half demon son, and the dwarven town that survives living in the shadow of dragon by tithing artistic creations to him. An earthquake shakes things up by killing the dragon and shattering the town. Both the succubus and her son are competing for control of the dragons treasure and the town. The son has raised an army, while the succubus works from within the town.

Enter the PCs.

So what do you get in 28 pages (plus cover and OGL)? An adventure which includes a variety of environments (woods, urban, and underground), with a wide variety of opponents. You also get 2 nice maps - 1 of the overall geography of the area, and 1 of the town. There are also maps of the underground areas, but only of the specifically keyed encounter locations. In addition there are some interesting NPC's, a pretty good story, and an excellent jumping off point for more.

It does have some limitations. First off, it's a somewhat linear adventure. It's expected that you'll go from hearing about the town, to going to the town to help out, to going underground to the old tomb to get the trapped miners out, to fighting off the army.  Whether you get to the miners via the chasm or the tombs, it doesn't really matter, and isn't going to impact the climactic encounter to all that much anyway. Unless as the DM you want it to, but, and the adventure makes this very clear, only if you want it to.

It seems like a missed opportunity that the PC's weren't tied to a timeline, or their earlier actions don't impact the endgame more. Also, the villain's final act of blowing up the dam to flood the city - with him and his army in it - seems... cinematic, but stupid. The final issue that stuck out at me, is why did the people living in the town opt to remain and pay tribute to the dragon, and how did it continue to attract artists whose work would go to the dragon, rather than being sold and getting them fame?

My final thoughts are based on the fact that the adventure is written for Pathfinder. A level 4 necromancer's stat block takes up a column and a half of space (3/4 of a page). He has 44hp, and an AC of 19. I'm pretty sure that back in my 3.x days this wouldn't have been a big thing, but since I've spent so much time with my nose in classic Dungeons and Dragons, this seems nuts to me.

Final Rating: 3/5 - It's certainly a solid effort, worth checking out if only to mine for ideas, and I hope that Brian writes the next part.

1 comment:

  1. Nice find and nice review. I missed out on the Bones Kickstarter but recently bought an almost complete set from ebay. This is a sweet way to showcase the minis, so I think I will have to do a series of low level adventures for my new campaign group using my retro clone of choice, Castles & Crusades.