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Dungeons & Dragons 3e: To Kill or Not To Kill

To Kill or Not To Kill

The opening of this adventure sets the scene and explains to the DM what is going on, both with this adventure and within the campaign as a whole. While intended as the second installment in the 25-adventure Rituals of Choice campaign, this can be run as a stand-alone adventure, and sufficient background is given for those who wish to do so to use it to reasonable effect - even if some of the longer-running strands of plotline will become irrelevant. If you haven't played A Witch's Choice, there's a selection of reasons as to why the characters might be in town, know each other already and be pre-disposed to taking on the task that will be offered. If you have, this adventure will follow on quite naturally once they arrive in town. Neat.

Now, the adventure itself. This begins in a similar manner to the previous one: a clear signal to characters who were involved therein that there's a connection. A few clues later, they are asked to undertake a task by the catchpole, or local lawman, who needs help in tracking down a killer, possibly a rogue animal, one which he suspects may be his totem creature and so it would be difficult for him to slay it himself. Again events and information flow quick and fast, although by the nature of things the start, at least, will require more thought and interaction than combat. Everything is provided for the DM to enable the adventure to continue just about whatever the characters decide to do at each point. Each NPC comes complete with a detailed backstory and information as to his attitudes and motivations, so that they can be role-played appropriately however the characters choose to approach them.

The adventure is complex with many levels, the DM is advised to be thoroughly familiar with it so as to keep track of all the strands and have the NPCs respond appropriately. While the adventure appears to rely on a lot of investigation and interaction, there are opportunities for combat although at least one is designed to deliberately outclass the characters who would do better to negotiate or run away... As with the previous adventure in this series it does not matter what the outcome of this adventure, the overarching plot will continue, just modified according to the results of the characters' choices and actions. The high standard set with the first adventure continues, again excellent support for the DM and a cracking complex story for the characters to work their way through. Possibly a bit combat-light, but players who are not prepared to make the most of opportunities to role-play will probably not find this adventure path to their taste.

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Reviewed: 22 April 2010