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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: Blood at Dralkard Manor

Blood at Dralkard Manor

After a chilling tale of a backstory for the DM's eyes only about the fall of a wealthy familiy whose entertainments were the stuff of legend, the adventure begins with the party being summoned by Venture-Captain Juberto Savarre, who intends to retire to their now-deserted estate. However, locals claim the place is haunted with shrieking spirits and things seem to be getting worse, with livestock and even the off vagrant going missing, so he'd like them to check it out before he heads there with his slippers to settle down to enjoy his twilight years.

The manor is quite remote and - if you're running it as a convention adventure or one-shot - is 'handwaved' with the first scene being the party's arrival at the house. If you are using it as part of a campaign you might want to play out the trip across the northern reaches of the Inner Sea, and an overland journey from Augustana. The exterior is unpromising, long-uninhabited the garden is a mess and the upper floor has mostly been destroyed in a fire.

The party will have to gain entry and search the place, dealing with whatever they might find there. There's a floor plan and quite detailed descriptions to aid you in running the adventure, with plenty of clues for the party to find as they try to figure out what is actually going on... including several notes for them to discover. For best effect, print these out.

It's quite a nice sandbox of an adventure: here is a supposedly-haunted house, now get on and investigate it however you please. Various events and responses to party actions are detailed well, and the Faction missions fit in well... and as usual, require Faction members to retrieve various items or information preferably without letting other party members know what they are up to! It has the potential to be quite dangerous, particularly for a 1st-level party, so care should be taken to give them a chance of success. Everything hangs together pretty well and there are reasons for what happens during the adventure, with creatures and NPCs who have their own plans and are getting on with things - a nice touch of realism, they are not just there to give the party a fight (although, of course, they will!). Quite a nice adventure!

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Reviewed: 20 January 2016