Working like a 'mini-bundle' product, this 'game pack' provides everything that you need to play The Spirit of the White Wyvern adventure: you get the adventure itself, a set of floorplans for the White Wyvern Inn in which it takes place, and a set of counters of the main NPCs which you can use on your floorplans during play.
First, the adventure. It's a location-based adventure, the location in question being the White Wyvern Inn, situated with an eye to the travelling (and adventuring) community about a day's journey from anywhere... you pick a suitable place in your campaign world. The adventure is not just based in the inn, it is built around the very fabric of the place, and provides opportunities for those who wish to exercise their brains and their role-playing abilities, as well as their sword-arms.
It begins with some extensive background, some of which can be explained to the characters as events unfold, some of which they might find out for themselves... and some of which they may never know, but which make for a rich experience as you use the whole to good effect as the game proceeds.
It is left to you to arrange for the characters to be in the White Wyvern Inn. Perhaps they're 'passing trade' or they may have been sent for deliberately... because the landlord has a bit of a problem. A ghost that haunts the taproom, playing the organ and entertaining the patrons, even acting as bouncer when people get a bit rowdy. But it has a disquieting habit of possessing someone mid-evening and declaiming a monologue in their voice, leaving them unharmed it is fair to say, but not everyone is happy about it and so the landlord has decided that the spook must go. Can the characters help?
Naturally, there's plenty else going on, even if the task of discovering how to ensure that the ghost goes to its rest was not enough. There's a whole cast of well-detailed characters each with their own distinct personality, agenda and set actions for the night - picking their way through what everyone is up to will provide plenty to keep your characters busy, never mind attending to their ghost-busting duties. Some may attack, some will try to enlist the characters' aid in their own schemes... and should you wish to make this an integral part of an ongoing campaign, rather than a one-night stand, much can be used to foreshadow further adventures.
The Inn itself naturally plays a starring role, and is described in loving detail, and referencing the original mapset if you have it. There's a decent-size map for the GM to work from, and this relates to the full set of floorplans also included in this Game Pack.
After all this, background and maps and room descriptions and all, we actually reach the adventure itself. On page 8, there it is, the 'read aloud' text to introduce the characters to what you have in store for them - must be one of the longest introductions I've read in a long time! Once launched by their arrival, events move at a cracking pace with plenty of detail about what the NPCs are doing and how they will react to whatever the characters get up to. Everything is presented in two parts - there are the 'location' based events that will take place whenever the characters go to the stated location, and the 'timed' sequence of events that will take place at the appropriate time wherever the characters have got to... all melding together to create a vivid alternate reality that should come to life around your characters.
As for the floorplans themselves, the artwork is clean and crisp, with well-detailed rooms... even to the extent of showing the layout in the privy, never mind the rooms in which characters might need to move around, brawl, and so forth. The usual 0one 'Rule the Dungeon' feature allows you to set various parameters such as square grid, hex grid or none; amount of 'fill' in walls; presence or absence of furniture or doors and the like. Printing out the map tiles (after you have chosen your settings) provides an excellent visual reference for your players as the adventure unfolds.
The collection of counters enables the main NPCs to turn up on the map just where you need them, scaled to work with the bases of conventional minitures if that's what your group uses. If preferred, there are plenty of blank counters which you can mark up to indicate party members or anyone else you decide is there. There's even a 'bag' to put them in, although it doesn't actually work very well - it's the thought that counts! The bag and the fact that the set doesn't have a proper 'face-on' cover to print out for the front of the box of folder you store everything in are about the only disappointing things... otherwise, you have a cracking little location-based adventure with a lot crammed in, full of excitement and with all the resources to run it well. Drop this in somewhere suitable, tweak events a little to fit your own campaign, and it could become a momentous and memorable part of the story you and your players are creating together.
Return to The Spirit of the White Wyvern Game Pack page.
Reviewed: 29 January 2017