August 13, 2008

[Review][D&D 4E] Scourge of the Rat-Men

I've just purchased a PDF copy of Scourge of the Rat-Men a D&D4E adventure by Adamant Entertainment. The Adventure is for 5 PCs going from 1st to 3rd level.
You can buy the PDF here for $14.95 $7.95

The Good

  • SYNTHETIC: There's a small village, but the description is short and not boring. Thanks. I cannot stand another description of a little rural village. Really, thanks.
  • ORIGINAL: The village is harboring a lot of refugees from farms and near villages evacuated. That's a little turn in the same old story pretty nice. It's not crucial, sure, but is nice.
  • ART: The art is fine. The village map is so-so, but the rest of the illustrations are above the standard for a little company. Obviously don't compare them to Paizo's or WotC's.
  • ASSASSINS: Rat-man assassins have nice stealth powers.
  • BOSS FIGHT: The boss fight is nice. The boss have nice powers and the Demon is someone to fear if not handled with care.
The Bad
  • MISSING: All monster boxes do non state which attacks are basic and which ones are not. They do not use any icon to define the tipe of attack either (es.)
  • NONSENSE: In the first encounter the bandits try to get the heroes by surprise. Nasty bandits! If the PCs get surprised the bandits... ask them to surrender, losing the surprise round. Why make them roll for surprise?
  • MISSING: Monsters need a little flavor. Special attacks are just a bunch of stats and will benefit from.
  • OLD: You won't believe this! The adventure start with with the heroes walking along a road and becoming target of a brigand's ambush. For God's sake, it's a way to involve PCs so used that even the coffin of Gygax was ambushed by brigands in it's way to the cemetery.
  • UNINSPIRED: Main foe of the adventure are the Rat-men a race of skaven-like humanoids. The rat-men are boring and uninspired. They have a racial power that deal extra damage if more skavens (ehm... rat-men) attack the same enemy and little more.
  • BAD DESIGN: All traps are very bad designed. The only interesting trap here (4 statues that does a burst o acid in front of then) is make useless because no one of the creatures here can push or slide a target, so once triggered, the PCs have just not step in front of the statues. Other traps are just a way to take away random healing surges.
  • OLD: If I tell you that in a locked cell, rat-men have closed a Ooze, you will be surprised? I was not.
  • MAP: Four of the crappiest game maps out here. Two of them are just tiled pages to cut in the needed shape. The third is a tiled page with a well in the center. The forth is a road in the wood like every other with the downside that's just 7x10 squares. Way too small.
  • OLD AND UNINSPIRED: There's a room with a portal to somewhere. Up to the GM define the destination. The best way you end up with a interrupted adventure and your PCs waiting for you to figure where they are.
  • BAD DESIGN: Rat-men's only exit is the well in the center of the village (and the mysterious portal). What the fuck? Clearly rat-men eat... mmmh I don't know...rats, maybe?
  • OLD: The giant squid?!?
  • BAD DESIGN: A corridor ending with a few steps leading to a wall? What kind of players don't take 20 to search for secret doors here? The secret door (yeah, there is one) has a DC of 20... sigh.
  • BAD DESIGN: The dungeon is created with a random room generator used by a 7 year old kid. The kid was probably drunk at the time.
The Ugly (just some talk about the life, the universe and everything else)
  • GSL: It's august so Adamant Ent. it's the first company really going against the GSL. I'm pretty curious to see what's happens now
The verdict
Ok. Don't buy this. Seriously.

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