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Dungeons & Dragons: Shades of Yesterday

Shades of Yesterday

The village of Aven, set on a crossroads where 2 major trade routes intersect, has of late been a pleasant and peaceful place. Near the village there is a gorge, once used by marauding humanoids and bandits, but now a play area for local children... and lovers. But there are disquieting rumours, a ghost has been seen there...

The DM is given background of both the location and the area's history, and of course what is really going on. Although set in the Lands of Drel, the seceanrio can be readily placed in any outlying area of your own world. A timeline is provided, which may have already started before the PCs arrive in Aven - to give them some backstory to investigate - or you may prefer to have the strange events begin when they are already there (especially if you choose to make Aven their base or hometown). This means that events progress irrespective of the characters' actions or interest, always good in helping create the alternate reality in which things are going on around the players rather than everything being dependent on them.

Once the background and timeline has been explained, along with a few notes on possible ways of involving the players in what's going on, the village of Aven itself is described in detail. It's a growth area, with both farmers and craftsmen settling and thriving here. So notes are provided on the prominent local folks, what they do and how they might interact with the characters (and, of course, with each other). There's plenty of background for all manner of typical 'small town' activities, thus making Aven ready-made to use as a base or even home town for your PCs.

Next comes detailed descriptions of the gorge, including the abandoned bandit encampment, natural caves and an ancient barrow to explore. This is also where you find full details on the kobold tribe and their leader who have taken up residence there... and are behind much of what has been going on.

Then there is an appendix with statistics for monsters, named individuals and specific items involved in the scenario. The named individuals include ALL the inhabitants of Aven, so whoever your characters wish to interact with, all the information is there when you need it.

Overall, it is a good investigative/explorative adventure that enables low-level or beginning characters to really feel that they have accomplished something, made a difference to a community. As promised material on the Lands of Drel has not materialised, the best move is to situate Aven and the gorge in a remote corner of your setting, where trade caravans but not much else travel.

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