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Bleeding Edge #2: Beyond the Towers $6.95
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Bleeding Edge #2: Beyond the Towers
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Bleeding Edge #2: Beyond the Towers
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/08/2007 00:00:00

I have never run an adventure as written. It is the only way to properly weave someone else?s adventure into my intricate stories. I do not think I would be the Iron DungeonMaster if I did not do any alterations. I would probably be more or less the Iron follow the adventure as written guy, and that does not sound as cool.

In any case, most of the time adding stuff is an option, with Beyond the Towers, the second adventure in Green Ronin?s bleeding edge line, it was an unwelcome necessity for an otherwise solid adventure.

Beyond the Towers is a good investigative dungeon crawl adventure that faults with its lack of drama. The PCs are either recruited or stumble upon an professor?s assistant named Frank whom professor boss needs the sword of some skilled mercenaries to excort him to a new dig site. The site has been accosted by bandits and the PCs will need to take care of them in order to provide a secure setting to explore. The adventures first must travel through a swamp to the location where they have the opportunity to deal with the bandits and investigate the site.

The adventure seems straight forward but the writer crafts the tale in a way to answer side quest questions and present an open non module feel. This is one of the best features of the Bleeding Edge series, however, it still needs to be honed. Some of the side quest questions aren?t fully panned out, and a lot is left up to the DM to fill in. Case in point, eventually the PCs find a traitor, and the book says that this person is a traitor, but it leaves it up to the DM to figure out what the traitor does. .It would have been nice to have a page detailing what the NPC does or tries to do in certain areas. I almost envision that to make this work, the next installment needs an NPC sheet showing what certain NPCs would do in certain locations if the writer knows they are traveling with the party and are important to the plot.

The PCs eventually find the location and it refreshingly detours from your traditional dungeon crawl with only a handful of encounters, but lots to find in each room. There is a feeling that they provided too few encounters inside of the Towers and the ending really feels like a let down as you find some more mundane trinkets. I like the idea of the pcs getting xp by finding mundane trinkets, but assigning a value or goal to the amount they needed to find would have made the adventure more goal oriented for the PCs.

For the DM Having read all four of the Bleeding Edge line, they are some of the most open adventures written. Though a few parts are a bit too Freeport specific, the actual adventures and places can be placed anywhere. My favorite part of the adventure is the description and intelligence put into the bandit camp. Every NPC has a good writeup and statblock presented after the adventure. However, it is a letdown not to receive clear adventure maps and handouts despite the promise of some available on the website. (no web enhancements on the website unless you want to run it as a True20 adventure). As a bit of tidbit advice, I would ignore the random encounter charts and make the special encounter presented in the book mandatory as they are quite good and shouldn?t be left up to a small percentage chance.

The Iron Word The Bleeding edge is a line that is growing and seems to be getting better with each entry. Beyond the Towers is a very different dungeoncrawl adventure and needs a few little DM elements to spice things up. . <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: - I like where the writers are going with the non-module feel; the pcs have choices

  • A refreshing take on the dungeoncrawl<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - the ending wasn't climatic, there needn't be a battle but the PCs should feel as if they completed a goal and have completely explored the place.
  • some of the npcs lack future direction <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bleeding Edge #2: Beyond the Towers
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/28/2006 00:00:00

Bleeding Edge #2: Beyond the Towers is a 32 page d20 pdf adventure and the second in Green Ronin's Bleeding Edge line of adventures. The first, Mansion of Shadows, pitted the adventurers against the evils of the Staufen family, while this adventure takes them beyond the mountains to the swamps and further to the ruins of lost civilizations. The Bleeding Edge series of adventures is designed to challenge the modern player, by providing an intricate, story-driven, drop-and-play adventure for all players. While Beyond the Towers can be played as an individual scenario, it can also be played as a follow-on to the Mansion of Shadows, although without any overriding plot. This adventure is suitable for 4-8 characters of levels 2-4.

Beyond the Towers comes as a single, fully-bookmarked pdf file. The layout and general look is extremely professional and polished. Some of the artwork, most notable the overland maps and one or two of the smaller maps are of poorer quality (e.g. one has a typo 'Lonley' instead of 'Lonely'), but generally the artwork and map work is of a high standard. Green Ronin and author W. Jason Peck have put together a good piece of writing with a high standard of editing and stat blocks. This pdf, as is the norm for the Bleeding Edge line utilizes material from other sources, including such products as Advanced Bestiary, Advanced Race Codex: Gnomes, Hungry Little Monsters from Sean K. Reynolds Games and One Thousand Faces from Citizen Games. Stat blocks and new monsters are all presented in the lengthy appendix.

The adventure takes place in the swamplands beyond the peaks of the mountains, the Towers. Here the adventurers get the opportunity to explore the swamps and aid a renowned scholar and 'archaeologist' in uncovering the mysteries of the hidden civilizations of the swamps. All is naturally not as it seems and the PCs get involved with numerous sinister elements in the swamps and surroundings as they aid the professor in his quest. Bandits, swamp monsters, ancient ruins and other horrors all form part of this adventure, essentially a location-based dungeon crawl with a few bits of intrigue thrown in.

Organisation of the adventure is good - summary, background, scaling adventure, plot hooks and other details are all providing to give an overview and set the scene. The adventure makes good use of sidebars to provide optional or additional information. The premise of scholarly archaeologist is one that is interesting to explore, and offers up plenty of interesting possibilities for further adventures, mysteries, etc. Lots of roleplaying opportunity is also available as the characters wander around the Lonely Shore and have to deal with the various NPCs scattered through the area, some naturally with more sinister agendas.

The main part of this adventure as mentioned before is a dungeon crawl. What makes it slightly more interesting than your typical dungeon crawl is the presence of various NPCs and other figures and their role in the adventure. Perhaps a bit more could've been made of this, and certainly DMs should be able to spice it up to increase the thrill of the dungeon and the danger of the antagonists and their allies. By heart, though, it's still a dungeon crawl, but fortunately a well-thoughout one, though not necessarily an original one. Traps. Check. Buried monsters. Check. Things coming alive. Check. A lot of standard fare with some creativity or different takes on common themes for this kind of archaeological dungeon crawl.

There's a lot of interplay to be had if the DM is prepared to go beyond the scope of the adventure. Dangerous bandits, traitorous NPCs and rival scholars can all play important aspects in the adventure, allowing PCs to investigate and unravel the mysteries as they wander the swamps or challenge the ziggurat. Beyond the Towers is not necessarily the most unique adventure out there, but it contains good roleplaying, fast action, interesting interaction and encounters and many possibilities. A standard recipe with a dash of originality, polished in a well-rounded presentation.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Beyond the Towers is a good, location-based adventure with an interesting premise and good roleplaying possibilities. It's an entertaining and challenging dungeon crawl with some added encounters to spice it up and add some hints of mystery and intrigue. Another solid effort from Green Ronin.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some of the maps were quite poor and could've been given further attention. I would've appreciated more focus on the interplay and intrigue surrounding the dungeon crawl rather than the dungeon crawl itself.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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