Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Skie

Ranking of published adventures

Recommended Posts

Greetings All
I have decided to start this topic to help all game masters in choosing their next scenario and also to share opinions of the published adventures, our experiences etc. These are not full reviews – only humble GM’s opinions! The discussed adventures were published by FFG or can be easily found on the Internet.
Many thanks for the authors for providing hours of fun! You're all great!

The Shattered Hope
Score: 4/10
This starting scenario is a short dungeon crawl and is only good for learning the rules of DH. There’s not much in it apart from some mutants to shoot and a demon out of the box at the end. No memorable npcs, or moments.
The Edge of Darkness
Score: 9/10
A truly excellent adventure of ‘sandbox’ type – the players have loads of options and possibilities to explore, the enemies are smart and deadly, the action is set in a depressing hive district where people die or vanish in the dark of the night.
Most memorable moment: shoot-out in front of the heretic base, when my players decided to be blunt and went to the base to confront the enemies and provoke them to do something stupid. Unfortunately, they didn’t know that the local enforcers were also cultists…

Illumination
Score: 7/10
Quite good, with a truly sinister enemy, which is fun to fight at the end! Also the whole scenario invokes a sense of foreboding and gloom, which is great for DH. It’s not as open as ‘The Edge of Darkness’, there are some key scenes that must be ‘triggered’ but all in all, worth playing.
Most memorable moment: the final battle in the cathedral!

Rejoice for you are true (from Purge the Unclean)
Score: 9/10
Another very good scenario, with a great villain, colourful npcs that can be used in other adventures, a sinister cult and very open structure. There are also some memorable locales (Ambulon,the walking city) and nasty surprises for players (night attack). It’s also fun for the players to uncover the conspiracy. The scenario is very well written too!
Best moment: many, but the ball was great, as was the night attack scramble and two square-offs with Theodosia (who was a lot like general grievous in my adventure)

Shades on Twilight
Score: 9/10
Usually I don’t like ‘rail’ adventures, when one scene leads to another and the only thing the players can do is survive long enough. This one is different. Set on a space hulk, with a Space Marine as an NPC and Dark Eldar as the enemies it absolutely was a blast! It must be kept fast-paced though. A must play!
Best moments: Lots and lots. Meeting a Space Marine. Losing him to warp beasts. Seeing the great, dead daemon and expecting it all the time to wake up. The final battle preparations and the fight itself, with the much needed help at the end.

Baron Hopes
Score: 6/10
The scenario starts well, the investigation is interesting at first but then comes the moments that the zombies come… and it is boring and tedious after that. There is nothing the players can do to prevent the ritual it happens because it must. If you’re a fan of zombie movies and a lot of combat, you’ll like it. Also, there isn’t any conclusion to the campaign. Could be a lot better, especially with its some very good npcs (the baron)…
Best moments: none that I can remember

The Eternal Tide
Score: 5/10
Winner of the adventure contest was a great disappointment to me and my players. It’s not an action adventure, but it’s very easy to derail, there isn’t much investigation in it, and at one point it assumes that players are caught. PCs don’t like being caught. They usually fight or think (for example by hiding). And the finale has nothing to do with the rest – the big monster is just a background, it’s supposed to make the fight look cool – but the fight takes place under the deck so… I understand that the main point was trying to show the PCs how not trustworthy etc their Inquisitor was, but it completely didn’t work with my group.

Idyll Heresies
Score: 9/10
A very good scenario, which I think should’ve won the contest. First of all it’s extremely well written, with very evocative descriptions to read out to the players. The plot is fun to follow, quite open structure allows the PCs for lots of creativity. And the final confrontation is dangerous but rewarding!
I had to upgrade it a bit – I put strange resident evil 4 like plague monsters in some of the key bodies. With this players were truly afraid of getting sick ;)
Best moments: Players realizing that the simple drug hunt (they didn’t work for the inquisition yet, it was the first adventure for a new group) is something much, much more…

Leave no stone unturned
Score : 9/10
A model adventure, which shows in a very good way how the investigation mechanic should work. The plot itself is very interesting to follow, with a lot of different ways of getting information. The trap in the second part is truly unexpected and very deadly (3 fate points burned) but the final battle brings a sense of achievement and accomplishment. I upgraded it with a hell hound of Khorne sent by one of the surviving cult members – now some PCs can’t sleep heh. This adventure might be also a great introduction into ‘Rogue Trader’ – it ends with PCs in control of a spaceship, and it’s quite possible that they’ll decide not to give it back… In my opinion the whole adventure is very similar to Eisenhorn’s investigations – it takes a long time to learn things, enemies are deadly, but the might of the Inquistion prevails.
Best moments: The trap in Hold B16, and the final battle.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my fragile, fragile ego!  Ah well, sorry you were disappointed.  That's why I always tell people about my adventures... remember what ya paid for it. :-)

Personally, Illumination remains my favorite pre-written adventure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

House of Dust and Ashes is also very good- plenty of interactions which could make for a different experience every time you play it.

 

I just ran Scriveners Star, and that was pretty good too in concept. I didnt use all the details, but the central plot works well.


SJE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I read through Scriveners Star and I thought the idea was cool but there were some elements of the disease I didnt like.

 

I would like to run it but I would definitely modify it for my purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By all means tweak Scrivner's Star to fit your group and playstyle. As written, it's pretty free form.

A few things I left out that may be of use:

  • If the players take the tramway to the spaceport, have each player roll 1d100. Then take the high roll, and announce "The station is full of zombies, they are all over the tracks. The tram slams into them and kills <insert high number here> zombies.
  • Just because they kill Frag Frak once, no reason he can't keep coming. He's a zombie after all. The next time they might meet him w/o legs, or just his hand with an Arbeit ring, or see his screaming head swinging on a chain around the neck of another zombie.
  • Position a zombie grox or two close enough to the spaceport entrance so they can charge the players on the second round.
  • Rather than using random tables for the storage lockers, choose the equipment that will make things work, but keep the supplies limited. Sure, some of the suits can fly over the heads of the zombie groxes, but there are only enough for half the party. Make up your own wierd tech items and see if the players can turn them into something useful.
  • Assume the station corridors have lots of handles and high traction floor coating and don't count the Low G as Difficult Terrain (as indicated by the Void Born traits). Outside, it is rubble, so use the terrain rules there.
  • If the players are trying to save survivors, it's easier to play if the players are going out first alone, rather than at the head of a few hundred civilians. I just had groups on the vox, following behind in the direction of the spaceport. My players saw so many zombies in the spaceport, once they beat the Vile Savent / Swarm they diverted the civilians to a nearby airlock, and picked them up there. At that point I went into narritive time and they ferried thousands in a few minutes of game time.
  • Use the NPCs that are with them, or in communication to give them hints. In the second game session, my players had forgotten about the empty space hab, so I had some NPCs ask if the heavy flamers had been delivered from there or not. The mention of heavy flamers made my players pay attention. The answer was no, but now the space station was in their minds again.
  • Mooks. The zombies are hard to kill, which is lots of fun. But zillions of them can be tedious. You could have different strains of zombies, some are the hard to kill kind, and some are mooks. I didn't do this when I ran it with my group, but in hindsight it might have made the hanger scene flow better.
  • I put in a lot of encounters, which do slow things down. Skip as many as you wish. And/Or use mooks.
  • My Abitrator had his left foot melt off. Now he has good quality cyber legs, but he got very tired of hopping. I ran this over three sessions, which is a long time to hop. Thinking back, either skipping this feature or having a staffed medicae center set up with cyber parts just show up in the path of the players after about an hour of game time would keep the player from feeling useless. "You kill the zombies around the Medice Center and a surgeon runs out. Thank the Emperor! We had nothing to defend ourselves with, since we are a cybernetic leg (or whatever your player needs) replacement clinic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my thoughts were less about those details... What I changed.

 

I needed a map of the outpost. Wound up using Moonbase Alpha - http://www.space1999.net/catacombs/cybermuseum/MATN/matn1001.html

 

Zombies did  non-primitive damage. I could bear the thought of all the useless arithmatic, and it worked well - most zombies could only do a point or two over Hardened Body Gloves plus TB 4 if they were lucky, so it was the threat of infection that was the real threat.

 

Played up the decisions about who to save and who to sacrifice when they just thought it was a regular plague. Tried to play up the angst of the infected PC's as to whether they would sacrifice themselves or not for the greater good.

 

SJE

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks man appreciate the info you posted up. I'm going to be starting a campaign soon and wanted to start with a published adventure to get the feel of the PC's. Your feedback on the adventures helped choosing which one to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll only rank those adventures I've run, or plan to run in the near future:

The Shattered Hope
Score: 2/10
Dull, plodding dungeon crawl. Bare minumums in every category to count as an adventure - a few NPCs to point the PCs in the general direction, a very basic dungeon, a few antagonists and some monsters to kill (a few minions and a big bad at the end). With a little effort could also be used in WFRP or D&D.


The Edge of Darkness
Score: 10/10
Excellent investigative mission with some nice combat thrown in. Some of the enemies were a bit tough for inexperienced PCs, but definately one of the best scenarios available for DH to date.

Illumination
Score: 3/10
Terrible railroad, with a GMNPC leading the players by the nose from one section to the next. A few dull fights scattered amongst some pointless investigations all lead up to the set-piece confrontation at the end, which isn't terrible.

Rejoice for you are true (from Purge the Unclean)
Score: 5/10
Some decent investigation here, but let down on the details. The scenario assumes at least one of the PCs will have some social skills (not a given with low-xp PCs). At several points the PCs are basically handed the clues they need to progress to the next scene - they don't really need to actually do any investigation, the scenario pretty much hands them everything automatically. The scenario could have been quite good, but the limited page count afforded to it clearly tied the author's hands, forcing him to simplify the scenario too much.

Shades on Twilight
Score: 4/10
Dull. Not as bad as Shattered Hope, but not great. The PCs meet a Space Marine. He doesn't do much except look cool and the scenario would probably have been better off without him. The route through the Space Hulk is a railroad with a scattering of pointless, unimaginative combats. The meeting with the shades is pointless and is basically just an opportunity for some exposition. The inclusion of the Serrated Query in this scenario is tenuous and trite. Final confrontation with the Dark Eldar has some potential, but more effort should have been put into possible traps, defensive strategies and the DE's tactics. Again, lots of potential here, but the author's hands were tied. Needs far more interesting encounters throughout the SH (what if one of the combats occured in a zero-g environment? If the PCs had to cross a rickety catwalk over an ancient hold? What weird environments might they find on a xenos vessel?), more use of the shades and the removal of the SM.

Baron Hopes
Score: 4/10
Haven't played it yet, but having read through it it seems to suffer from the same problems as the other entries in PtU. The investigation once more leads the players around by the nose - they don't really need to use their braincells to figure out what is going on, the scenario basically tells them where they need to be in order to kill things. Dull fight at the end and... seriously, reading the description of how the PCs are supposed to beat the Big Bad actually made me sit up and go WTF!?!

 

House of Dust and Ash and Tattered Fates: Haven't run either of these, but both look promising. HoDaT includes some decent investigation, socialising and a tense and horrifying combat finale. TF is likewise very promising, with a survival struggle to begin with followed by some socialising and investigation. The finale seems weak, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

egalor said:

I'd actually side with macd21, albeit I'm not too sure about the 10/10 score for EoD.

I'm sure there are flaws in there somewhere, but they didn't come up in the session I ran and none of them jumped out at me during play, so I didn't want to knock off a point for problems that I can't testify to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The House of Dust and Ash is proving to be the adventure that wouldn't end, but stays fun. For the second game in a row, I was ready to bring it to the conclusion, and my players decided otherwise. Part of that was my fault. I added two Chaos Swords to the minor items auction, and the players scooped them up and became possessed.

I enjoyed Edge of Darkness, but didn't find the mystery lurking in the background to be convincing at all. It was like the mystery was kept from the GM as well as the players. :) However, I don't think that impacted the play much. Battle maps would have helped.

For new GMs, I want to encourage you to customize all adventures to your group. Add NPCs and threads between otherwise unrelated adventures and your players get a sense of continuity. Add events and NPCs that bring in the backstory of your PCs. If the players latch on to an NPC you didn't think was important, use her in a staring roll in a later adventure. Sometimes the adventure will tell you where you can add your own stuff, sometimes not. But you can always add. And subtract. If you like making your own adventures, but don't always have the time, modding a published adventure is a great workaround.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skie said:

The Eternal Tide
Score: 5/10
Winner of the adventure contest was a great disappointment to me and my players. It’s not an action adventure, but it’s very easy to derail, there isn’t much investigation in it, and at one point it assumes that players are caught. PCs don’t like being caught. They usually fight or think (for example by hiding). And the finale has nothing to do with the rest – the big monster is just a background, it’s supposed to make the fight look cool – but the fight takes place under the deck so… I understand that the main point was trying to show the PCs how not trustworthy etc their Inquisitor was, but it completely didn’t work with my group.

Idyll Heresies
Score: 9/10
A very good scenario, which I think should’ve won the contest. First of all it’s extremely well written, with very evocative descriptions to read out to the players. The plot is fun to follow, quite open structure allows the PCs for lots of creativity. And the final confrontation is dangerous but rewarding!
I had to upgrade it a bit – I put strange resident evil 4 like plague monsters in some of the key bodies. With this players were truly afraid of getting sick ;)
Best moments: Players realizing that the simple drug hunt (they didn’t work for the inquisition yet, it was the first adventure for a new group) is something much, much more…

Leave no stone unturned
Score : 9/10
A model adventure, which shows in a very good way how the investigation mechanic should work. The plot itself is very interesting to follow, with a lot of different ways of getting information. The trap in the second part is truly unexpected and very deadly (3 fate points burned) but the final battle brings a sense of achievement and accomplishment. I upgraded it with a hell hound of Khorne sent by one of the surviving cult members – now some PCs can’t sleep heh. This adventure might be also a great introduction into ‘Rogue Trader’ – it ends with PCs in control of a spaceship, and it’s quite possible that they’ll decide not to give it back… In my opinion the whole adventure is very similar to Eisenhorn’s investigations – it takes a long time to learn things, enemies are deadly, but the might of the Inquistion prevails.
Best moments: The trap in Hold B16, and the final battle.

Well, for Eternal Tide, playing it was great (probably because my GM was the one whom made it, and it was geared towards us) so I guess your milage may vary (albeit I don't have a clue where you got such a negative opinion on it, it had to have win the contest for some reason, non?). Sometimes desperation is better than none at all, making your characters actually feeling challenged to find ways out, to make them feel desperate to escape or face interrogation and most likely death. I'm just very surprised at the negativity with it. Planning to run it with my group, and I've played a little with it. I look forward to it.

Idyll Heresies though, I completely disagree. With my players, it feel completely flat. I was told the scenario could be played with no adjustments (so my bias is skewed there). The only reason my players finished the scenario was because the book in the big bad's room where it mentions the Imperial Arms. Even then after that, they all failed their fear test (I played this at second rank) and one player got out. My other beef with the scenario is the formatting.

I give it a 5/10. It did not work well with my group whatsoever, I really don't like the scenario's formatting, they couldn't do the investigation from its odd ways of showing "leads", so it was doomed from the beginning. Really did not like it.

Now, Leave No Stone Unturned was one that I liked. Especially how my players CALLED the trap, but ended up going either way. I let them live, because I didn't realize how deadly the void rules were (and it was my bone to the players, next time the gloves are off). I also used the scenario as a training mission from the Inquisition, having the Secutor playing as Metalus. I found it a little lacking on epic though.
7/10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny thing is - it all ALWAYS depends on your players, your GMing style and dozens of details which you probably don't even notice when you play or GM. Probably that is why we have so different opinions of those adventures...

In 'Leave no stone...' - my players also knew there were walking into a trap. One of them died (ran out of Fate Points) - funny thing, they didn't complain after that, it was a good cold shower for them - after about 15 years of playing RPGs they sometimes act as if they've done it all...

'Idyll Heresies' - I admit, I spiced it up here and there to make it even more interesting. Also, it was a new campaign, with new PCs and it was fun for them and for me to see/interact with them. This probably relates to what I said at the beginning of this post.

I'm still waiting to run 'The house..' and 'Tattered Fates' - I'll probably wait until the whole thing is out though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I'm concerned 'House of Dust and Ash' is easily the most complex, evocative, and fun- for both the GM and the players.

 

I've ran it 3 times, and it has never been the same twice. I'm going to have to agree, by the way, with Skie. Good players/GM make a campaign far more than the campaign does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...