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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: Lost at Bitter End

Lost at Bitter End

This entire adventure is a cautionary tale against meddling in things you do not completely understand. It appears that a Pathfinder cleric has been doing just that, exploring an area called the Mana Wastes that's not merely inhospitable but dead to magic as well. However after sending a message that she was going to conduct a ritual carved into a stele that she found there, nothing more was heard. So the party has been sent - by teleport no less, no mundane journey this time - to find out what has happened to her.

The background notes spell it all out for the DM, but of course the party has to figure it out the hard way from what evidence they can find. Fortunately the missing cleric was an obsessive note-taker, so if the party can but find her journals they might find some clues...

Naturally, her meddling has caused a few odd things to happen and liberated assorted monsters, which will have to be fought if the investigation is to make any progress. At times information can only be obtained by (high) knowledge checks - a side effect of characters knowing a lot more about the world in which they live than their players do, lacking the background knowledge of things that don't exist in the real world - and at one point unless the party undertake a particular action, the whole thing comes to a juddering halt. Fortunately that action is quite clearly telegraphed, so much so that suspicious players might resist... but from then on the skill checks to figure things out get easier and things ought to fall into place readily.

Everything is well put together and well-resourced, and it makes sense - cetainly as you read it, and there is much more scope than in many such adventures for the party to understand what is going on as well. The faction missions are actually quite challenging, as often the faction masters issuing them seem to know more about what is going on than the regular Pathfinder leaders who have sent the party out in the first place. Good for combat, good for figuring stuff out - the one thing this adventure lacks is any real role-playing opportunities.

Return to Lost at Bitter End page.

Reviewed: 6 March 2016