As with the two previous adventures in the Rituals of Choice adventure path, the characters are swept up from the outset in events, yet allowed sufficient freedom to do what they please... and still not derail the plot! If they haven't been through preceding events, sufficient background is provided to let them know what's going on, and there is even provision for someone to be moved to give them an item that would otherwise have already been in their possession. Even if they have played both the earlier adventures, even more material is provided as 'hooks' and motivations to bind them even closer to the plotline.
As ever, dreams are important: heed their messages and warnings. They're not merely prophetic, however, the opening encounter sweeps the characters up into a dream-state that is real and potentially deadly... and that's just the introduction to get them to accept the quest that is the meat of this adventure! Throughout, too, there are opportunities for astute characters to learn more through the use of knowledge skills and other more arcane ways of accessing lore.
Other themes run through the whole adventure, chief of course being that of choice. At just about every turn the characters are presented with choices to make, and for each one there are consequences... not always, naturally, apparent at the time, although there are notes for the DM as to what needs to be remembered or done about the choices made and often exactly which character made them. At a first reading, some of the choices and what you have to record seem a bit arbitrary, but all is made clear and the characters receive their just rewards in due course... or do they?
Even just reading this adventure, I'm now sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what comes next. Those who play it will be begging for more. I would recommend running the previous two adventures first, and planning on continuing as more appear - it isn't really suitable for a one-off game, and your players may lynch you if you do not let them find out what ensues after the genuinely cliff-hanger end...
Return to Race for the Crystal Fold page.
Reviewed: 14 July 2010