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CCC-CIC-01: The Vault of the Devourer» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A fun, short adventure rss

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Pieter
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Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
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The Vault of the Devourer is an Adventurers League module, designed by Greg Marks for Cold Iron Conventions. It is the first part of the Ruined Tower of the Tempest Mage trilogy, optimized for five third-level characters (the second and third part are for Tier-2 characters). It is about double the length of a regular Adventurers League module, and should clock in at about 4 hours of playtime.

The PDF is 32 pages long. It has two black & white illustrations, and a single, medium-sized map (with 12 separate locations) on which most of the adventure plays out.

The plot is as follows:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The players visit the village of Windy Valley, where the village's baker, a young woman named Jalie, gets kidnapped by a "Dark Traveler" and his cronies, and taken away to the ruins of the Tempest Mage's tower. There she is to be sacrificed to call forth some kind of Lovecraftian horror. The players track the kidnappers to the dungeon beneath the remnants of the tower, and explore the dungeon until they find the sacrificial chamber, where they are supposed to stop the ritual and kill the monster that appears.

While the overall story is pretty bland, the dungeon in which the story plays out is fun to play through. It has some interesting combat encounters, a few puzzles, a few traps, some surprises, some environmental hazards, and plenty of situations which seem to be more dangerous than they really are. The module features time pressure; the players really get the feeling that they have to rush a bit before it is too late. And indeed, if they dally, the final encounter of the module may increase considerably in difficulty.

There is a large amount of optional content in the module, which is unlike most other Adventurers League modules that I have seen. The module also scales well to different levels of players. Finally, care has been taken to sketch some of the history of the Tempest Mage, and provide background information for the village, the tower, and one important NPC. This allows the GM to give life to the module beyond just running some encounters.

The only thing that I was missing is an illustration of the floor of one of the rooms, which contains a clue on how to progress. Instead of showing this floor as an illustration, the players get the clue when they "investigate" it, which seems like a suboptimal approach to this puzzle. (Even worse, if the GM shows the players the map which comes with the adventure, it has a rough illustration of this particular floor in the room, which actually does not correspond to the description of the floor in the main text). A GM skilled in illustrating should probably draw this floor themselves.

Both the players and I (as GM) thought this module was a lot of fun to play through. I heartily recommend it as a one-shot which you can run in an afternoon. I have not yet played through the second and third part of the trilogy, but they aren't really needed, as the first part stands well on its own.
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