This adventure was originally published in 2016 as an introductory adventure for people starting a Pathfinder 1e campaign, so it's appropriate that it's the first adveture that they put out for the Second Edition! It has something for everyone, with three locations in which different character classes have the opportunity to shire, and there's a pure role-playing encounter as well. It's all set out so that the party has freedom of action as to where to go... or for that matter, the GM might choose to relocate the various encounters other than in a single valley, if that suits their needs better.
We start with a map of the Duchy of Ashlar, on the fringes of which the valley is to be found. Of course, it needed be there, if you have a different campaign setting. The adventure begins in a town called Dulwich, a bustling trading centre built primarily on the lumber business. In a few short notes, this settlement is brought to vivid life (and there's plenty of scope for other adventures should you decide to take advantage of it). There are rumours to hear and lore to acquire, and a slew of events, any of which could develop into an adventure of their own. Notable locations and a town map make it easy to navigate your way around. Will your party even get out of town to visit the Shunned Valley?
Just to make sure that they do, some hooks are provided, woven into events at Dulwich, to attract them - as well as the usual 'missing persons' suggestions, there's one in which a couple of squabbling sages are willing to pay for further information about the tombs! Once they have decided to go there, there are even more rumours to be had about the area and its perils. Some of them even contain a grain of truth! It is only about five miles away, but through rough and wild country - no walk in the park, and the encounter table reflects this. Once there, the party is free to wander around, but several tables are provided to enable you to present them with odd occurences, items to find and so on. There are various locations within the valley, three of which lead to tombs to investigate, but even outside of them there is plenty to see and do, as well as hostile wildlife. There's the possibility of other adventurers turning up, and a conversation with a ghost too!
The actual tombs are not very big but do not be deceived. There is enough in each one to keep the party occupied. Traps, animated statues, plenty of loot... and a few live perils as well. The conclusion spells out what happens had the party been following the missing persons or squabbling sages hook and provides suggestions for further adventures - which primarily points to other Raging Swan adventures in the neighbourhood. There's just so much going on here that you can easily find plenty to do without having to wait for Pathfinder 2e versions of them to come out (or to convert them yourself), though. It's quite amazing how much is crammed in here, this could make a great campaign starter, especially for players new to role-playing never mind this particular ruleset.
Return to Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs page.
Reviewed: 10 September 2019