Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Jewels of the Carnifex

What is it? DCC adventure #70 for 3rd level characters by Harley Stroh

Spoilers Below!

First thing's first, for those 40K fans out there, this is not the Carnifex being referenced, in spite of that awesomely weird thing on the cover.

In this case, Carnifex a cthonic goddess of assassins and torturers whose symbol is a 3 headed raven, and she's been imprisoned by some do-gooder paladin types. Unfortunately they're too pure(ish) for their own good, and can't destroy the jewels that hold her power. So their imprisonment isn't as complete as they want.

The adventure itself is a dungeon crawl through the 2 levels of the under temple of the Carnifex. The upper level is more traps and tricks, while the second level is where the party encounters the Swords of the Pious and the imprisoned goddess.

For what would otherwise be a relatively standard dungeon crawl, there are a few fun twists that make this a much more interesting adventure. Namely, there aren't a lot of good options, and the likelihood that the party manages to pick the least worst set of options is pretty slim. Do they try to work with the fanatic lawful (evil?) paladins, or do they try to release the goddess of assassins? Dare they keep the treasures they find?

In addition to the dungeon, there's an optional encounter with some descendants of the Paladins who still guard the old temple grounds, a rumors table (I always appreciate these), and a section on how to handle the PCs (potentially) acquiring some incredibly valuable treasure.

Unfortunately there wasn't an option given to have Canifex as a potential patron/god, or even suggestions for potential followups in spite of the suggestion that "The PCs are left with the sinister sense that they have not seen the last of the Carnifex". Seems like a missed opportunity.

All in all though, I really appreciate an adventure that lets you make difficult moral type choices, even if most players probably just try to kill everyone and keep all the stuff.

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