A Pathfinder/3.5 adventure for 4-6 PCs of Levels 4-6
The city of Bridgefort needs your help! A series of robberies have begun to cause panic and distrust within the city. Witnesses are reporting seeing vampires lurking in the shadows. The Guards are unable to solve the mystery. Even worse, the citizens are blaming these events on the party. Can Bridgefort be saved?
4, 5, 6
This pdf is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
All right, still here?
When the PCs get to the town of Bridgefort, they are scrutinized extensively by the town-guard (Here’s a cool peculiarity – read-aloud texts for succeeded and failed checks) and may even end in jail, depending on their fast-talking skills. Turns out, the city’s been hit by a series of robberies and the PCs may end up taking the blame for the crimes – not due to proof, but due to general anxiety! In order to enjoy their stay in town, they’ll have to seek out Madame Du Fon, one of the victims of this series. The investigation shows signs of the sleep spell and a local peddler warns them of a vampire – though the PCs may take him for being paranoid! When an eccentric gnome is robbed and does not show up at first, the PCs may find traces of mud, pointing towards the area around the docks.
Arrived at the dock, the PCs can barge into a warehouse, where Versheen, the mastermind of the plot and his kobold and orcish henchmen are currently holding a halfling woman captive. The adventure ends with many open questions of why the humanoids were working for the wizard, what he was after and where the funds have been funneled to, but those will be covered in a sequel. What I don’t get, though, is why the BbeG does not try to take the hostage to get away.
The module also comes with a map of the town (which is uncharacteristically bad for Adventureaweek.com’s standard) and the warehouse.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to AaW’s 2-column standard and the pdf comes with an additional version sans background. The pdf also comes with extensive bookmarks.
This investigation is interesting in that it’s presentation makes it possible to run this side-trek without any preparation on the DM’s part, so that is a major plus point if you need a quick sidetrek. What works against the module is its linearity. Due to the brevity of the module, it does not have enough space to truly develop an interesting or complex plot, essentially making the module feel much too simple or at least simpler than it should have been. A more complex selection of clues that does not hand the PCs the solution on a silver platter and at least make them work a bit and use their brains more. The BbeG is acting not too smart in the final encounter and honestly, I would have loved to see this whole module develop in a more complex manner, for the investigation per se is well-presented. Another problem of the brevity of the module is that the paranoia and sense of being framed/persecuted/discriminated against for crimes they did not commit is falling flat. If more time (or a timeline) was there, with encounters showing how hostilities towards the PCs increase, a general sense of paranoia could be evoked – perhaps even with the BbeG later trying to actively frame the PCs, forcing them to hide from/work against the authorities. Unfortunately, all of this potential is lost in the module’s brevity and while the extent is not as grievous as in e.g. “To Catch a Serpent”, it still drags down what could otherwise have been an excellent module. In the end, I unfortunately can’t rate this higher than 3 stars – an ok investigative sidetrek that could have been so much better.
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