This is a well constructed and well written adventure, which is designed to be placed in any fantasy world where there is marshland near the sea in a fairly remote area. There is a lot going on, all tied back to underlying history, giving the impression that the events that your characters will interact with would have happened anyway whether or not they were there, excellent 'alternate reality' rather than an adventure which kicks off just when the characters are in the right place!
Basically, the characters happen across the village of Flintpoint and have an opportunity to stop for a drink or a meal or even the night as appropriate. Once they have met some of the locals, a druid who acts as self-appointed guardian of the area turns up and asks that they help clear out some strange 'blue-skinned goblins' which have been bothering the wildlife, annoyed the druid by killing a bear she'd befriended and may even pose a threat to the village. It's a relatively straightforward task, but as they return to the village they hear a massive explosion and... (buy or play in the adventure if you want to know the rest, I'm not going to spoil it for you!).
Assuming your heroes do the decent thing and try to sort out what's happened, they face a journey across a very large marsh with the opportunity for several skirmishes with the denizens thereof, before they arrive at a site with scope for a big combat and some further underground exploration and adventure should they so wish.
There is a lot packed in to what is both a well-written and a well organised adventure. Sidebars with useful information, lists for the DM to ensure that important plot points are not missed, essential statistics and difficulty check information to hand just where you need them... everything to make the adventure easy to run when you are at the table. Naturally, to get the most out of it, a thorough read beforehand is to everybody's advantage, but the whole thing is laid out for use.
Overall, it is an exciting adventure with plenty of action, and some scope for role-playing, which should keep its target group of 4 8th-level characters on their toes if they are to succeed. It is in the classic 'good heroes beat up monsters and glean the rewards' mould, but with genuine depth to the setting, the people and the creatures therein to make it a true slice of alternate reality in which your characters can exist, interact and make a difference.
Return to Marsh of the Wild Things page.
Reviewed: 21 April 2007