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Dungeons & Dragons 3e: Sign of the Skull

Sign of the Skull

A local lordling asks the party's help in investigating an attack on a couple of villages near to his lands. So near, in fact, that he had offered to take them under his protection but they'd not been interested... then. As a gesture of goodwill, he wishes to extend a measure of protection anyway but as his people are busy looking after the people that have accepted his rule, he's hiring out. A generous noble? Or one as slimy as any politician?

The DM's Background explains who was behind the attack and why. While the adventure is situated in the Mennara campaign world it can be easily placed in a suitable location in your own world: you need a reasonably settled but not completely civilised area where the rule of law is the rule of the sword arm, and plenty of forests around. They're good for hiding the bad guys in...

The adventure begins as the party is on its way to visit the scenes of the crime. It appears that the raiders were most unpleasant, chopping heads off and mounting skulls on posts wherever they went... and before too long the party hears of another attack and can get over there while the evidence is still fresh. If they ask the right questions and follow the right tracks they can follow the raiders to their camp - it's a fair journey away, though - and may even discover evidence explaining why they attacked. Or they can just deal with them, of course.

The villages are given brief mention - well, they have been burned to the ground - and any layout or map of the area is left to you to provide. The bad guys' base is mapped out, but the tactical information on it means you'll have to create something for the players to look at.

The underlying plot is good but the lack of depth in the adventure and the weak conclusion leaves it more of an adventure seed than a full-blown adventure. Neat concept, though... with some work you could make a good adventure out of it as well.

Return to Sign of the Skull page.

Reviewed: 3 March 2018