I ran this adventure with a group of five players playing a Kai Lord, Knight of the White Mountain, Magician of Dessi, Drawven Gunner of Bor, Border Ranger of the North.
First, the good...
1) This adventure really gives different classes time to shine. I liked how it included a ship so any Buccaneers could show off their skills.
2) The adventure is nicely paced. Lots of action, but it is balanced with tons of role playing opportunties.
3) The adventures allows for clever heroes to avoid combat through using their disciplines.
4) I liked how the other passengers on the ship were notable NPC's in character classes. I just wish (see #3 below)...
5) This adventure does a nice job of "directing" the heroes without making it seem as if they don't have choices.
6) I also liked the options for the heroes to heal up in the middle of the adventure and do some shopping when they get to Seroa.
Finally, the bad...
1) The plot is a little obscure. There really is no way for the heroes to every truly understand the backstory of the Druid. Also, the threat seems to be a little great (killing all magic users in Magnamund) to send novice heroes on this adventure. Also, isn't there any easier way to capture a single magic user than this elaborate plot?
2) Simply put, if you run this adventure as it is written, you will kill your party. It is advertised for 4-6 players and says if you have more or less than that you will have to make adjustments. Having 5 players, I kept the numbers the same and I killed three player characters. Several things up the lethality considerably.
a)Shakara's wildfire - Doing DOUBLE a random number roll, this potent mixture could do anywhere from 2 - 18 damage to EVERY TARGET IN A TEN FOOT RADIUS. I believe I got a middle number (7x2=14) and this came directly after the brutal Storgh combat. Considering most heroes have somewhere around 25 HP TOTAL, this is WAY too much damage.
b) The ambush. At one point, there is an ambush of TEN Beastmen. In the first round of combat they attack with bows. This combat alone could be a TPK! What makes it worse is Shakara, if not previously discovered, chooses this moment to attack!
c) The Cener Druid in the final combat has eight beastmen AND a ranged attack that does double or triple damage. YIKES! Triple damage alone could kill a player character in a single round!
3) I wish that the NPCs were more fully fleshed out as far as disciplines. The adventure says Shakara is an assassin, but she looks like a buccaneer. Ulnic and Mulnic are Knights of Illion. Radak is a Cener Druid. But none of these characters are presented with the disciplines their classes should provide. What rank are they? The captain also seems to need a little bit more fleshing out. Sure, the DM can make this stuff up but it would be nice if it came with the adventure already.
Overall, I feel as if the problems with this adventure can be overcome with some advanced planning and work on the part of the DM.
1LR Review - 14 out of 20 - It's a Hit!