Cunningly, the background information is divided into two parts - the knowledge characters would have is printed on the back of the booklet, and there's more 'DM only' information inside. Indeed it's suggested that you read the text on the back to the players before you start the game! It all concerns a now-peaceful realm with a turbulent history full of warlords and battling mages, the pacification being the work of a member of the nobility who turned on everyone else, beat them into submission then imposed peace on the land some 600 years ago. It was thought that his impressive exploits were due at least in part to his magic items, which were buried with him... only it seems that someone or something is now attempting to retrieve them, no mean feat as the tomb is placed over a lava pit! Oh, and is guarded by an order of paladins for good measure.
The DM Background explains what was really going on and the lengths the paladins have taken to secure the site. It's not quite clear who is trying to break in, though. Anyway, the party is asked by the current ruler of the realm to go investigate and deal with anyone trying to steal the items. Getting to the location is left up to you, the scenario starts with the party faced with their first task: getting in to a tomb that is suspended over a lava pit by massive chains. Unless they can fly, they'll have to climb across. From then on in, it's a prowl through an extremely well-trapped tomb with the potential of unleashing a dreadful evil upon the world... although there is a friendly ghost to help. Apart from him, everything else they encounter is only interested in combat.
There is a new magic item (quite tasty) and a new and quite nasty monster which is at the heart of the problem. The map is clear, and all the traps are explained clearly however the ways to survive or even disarm them depend mostly on die-rolling rather than figuring them out. This is an adventure you could drop into any remote part of your world that has a suitable volcano, just change any names as necessary. Some suggestions for further adventures are included, or of course it could be run as a one-off if preferred. It is quite deadly given the traps and the fact that nothing there (apart from that ghost) want to do anything other than fight. The layout is good, and the traps ingenious, however, and if the party realises what is in there and manages to prevent its release to the world there's a good feeling of satisfaction to be had. Best take your bard along, the party will want - and indeed deserve - to have their exploits sung about!
Return to Out of Body, Out of Mind page.
Reviewed: 13 April 2017