This is a rather strange adventure, as there are three completely separate paths that the party can take - indeed, it's almost three separate adventures, and time constraints are such that they can probably only manage one, maybe two if they're quick about it, in time.
The situation is quite simple. The village of Rybalka, that has been serving as the base for all the adventures so far (assuming, that is, that you have been using Adventureaweek's campaign world, recommended given the online support available if you subscribe) holds an annual festival, the Winter Flower Festival. This celebrates a rare flower that grows high in the mountains, but has also become a traditional time for young gentlemen to press their suit with local ladies - the custom being to present the lady of choice with some rare and costly gift.
Now, this year a particularly beautiful young lady has just come of age and plenty of young men are eyeing her up and wondering how to win her favour. Three of them approach the party in order to seek their aid in obtaining suitable gifts - hence the choice before them, there isn't time to manage all three quests before the Festival starts!The three young men are quite different - and nicely-developed - individuals, and this may influence the party's choice as to whom they will aid. Only one asks for support as he collects the item he's chosen, the other two offer to pay the characters to fetch their items for them.
Each quest should prove quite a challenge, and all present varying opportunities for thought as well as combat skills. One task involves retrieving treasure from a sunken ship, one involves negotiating with local dwarf miners for a gem and the third is a quest high into the mountains to retrieve a Winter Flower itself! This last is a feat that has only been done once in the past decade, and will bring great honour to whoever manages it... never mind a maiden's hand!
As we've come to expect, each quest is laid out clearly with information placed at the GM's fingertips to facilitate easy running of whichever one the characters choose to undertake. The introduction could do with a thorough proof-read, but the rest of the text is fairly error-free. There are also additional suggestions for embedding events more closely into the party's own story, if they have been involved in earlier adventures...
But there's a gaping plot hole that is never addressed. What if one (or more) of the characters fancies that beautiful young lady for himself? Or indeed, having heard about the Winter Flower, what group of adventurers out to make a name for themselves will not at least consider going to find it to gain the renown? I suggest you decide how to accommodate these options before you run the adventure, because if I think of them pretty much as soon as I've read the synopsis, so will plenty of players when they are presented with the situation.
That aside, the three quests should provide for some solid adventuring fun, and those not completed in time for the Festival may perhaps be slotted in later, certainly the wreck-exploring one. Good solid material firmly rooted in a setting that I'm beginning to be quite fond of.
Return to Winter Flower page.
Reviewed: 31 July 2012