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Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Cursed Chateau - review

The Cursed Chateau is an adventure by James Maliszewski of Grognardia designed for use with any old school rpg. The adventure is well laid out, with no stats until the appendix, which includes a number of new monsters. This adventure is perfect for DMs wanting to run a stand-alone haunted house scenario for a group of adventures of level 4-6. It is specifically designed to fit into any "standard" D&D game with minimal fuss. It should be a lot of fun, and I would happily run it as written. There area  fairly high amount of Save or Die situations, though, and DMs may want to adjust this (or maybe not). Highly recommended!

The ghost is pretty cool. I love the table for for Jordain's Fun. It gives lots of little scares without actively endangering the PCs. I think the Wandering Monster Table probably should mention that certain creatures should be kept track of when killed, since they won't then be in their associated lair, but an experienced DM will figure this out pretty quickly.

I will personally add fly to the list of unusable spells, or the party will be able to escape fairly easily. The fountain, and all the associated piping and the underground lake and it's denizens were all great. The portraits in the parlor were neat, and had a nice haunted house vibe. The yellow mold privy is just mean. ;)

I am not completely sold on the secret room, since I can easily see a group of players not finding it (or dying when they open the door), in which case they would miss out on one of the better encounters (the demon adds a great roleplaying opportunity).

The invisible stalker protecting the dead mage is a cool twist on a standard monster. The ogre is fun. The ghouls and ghasts room is just ok, but I am really happy to see ghasts in an adventure. They are a great monster.

As mentioned, the frog people are neat, though I don't see too many players exploring their city. Cool idea, though. Same goes with the Red Planet. I like how this chateau can lead to some major new campaigns, if desired.

 Art-wise, I love the cover. One of the best among products for Old School gaming. The interior art is pretty good, as well, though it serves more to break up text than to directly represent the text around it, in most cases.

The included monsters are all pretty good (I especially like the Iron Maiden and theGhast). I would have preferred if the AC had been listed like S&W does, but I think I just need to subtract from 19 to get the correct value (or is this an AC 10 = unarmored version, a la 1e?).

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