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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: To Scale the Dragon

To Scale the Dragon

Go and fetch the bones of some old mystic who lived in a cave high above the snowline... sounds simple enough (if a but chilly)? Don't you believe it, Pathfinders!

Sending the party so high that altitude sickness becomes an issue, the adventure is full of thrills from fighting off semi-sentient beast-men to wild sled chases that seem to have come from a fantasy version of James Bond. There's plenty of atmospheric description of the heights to which they have to ascend, and the added bonus of other parties who also have an interest in the bones they've been sent to fetch.

The journey itself is an adventure worthy of song or story, and those not constrained to a limited time like a convention slot might wish to make more of the thousands of miles between Absalom and the chilly mountain peak. It is an action-oriented adventure, but one in which the action is more than mere brawling (but never fear, there's plenty of that!). The terrain is challenge enough, and the dog sleds provide an interesting angle. The Faction missions fit in well, and as usual require Faction members to try and get things done without making too much of a show of what they are doing.

However, where it falls down is in character power. Characters of the suggested level ought to cope easily with - if not bypass - many dangers, lower level ones who will find the ascent a decent challenge risk being overwhelmed by the opposition. In particular, little attention is paid to the sort of things a half-decent mage can do. I'd recommend scaling back the opposition and enjoying the fight against the elements with a lower-level party.

Conceptually, it's got the potential for great fun. Take the time to hone it a bit, and have a blast!

Return to To Scale the Dragon page.

Reviewed: 4 February 2016