EZG reviews the Sundered Legion & The Rabbit Hole

Hej everybody,

with Lou's new Fire as She Bears-project with Rite Publishing and the KUG approaching, the new year has kicked off with some rather splendid news. I have returned from a long overdue vacation (Venice is full of inspirations!) and in order to concentrate on the upcoming cool products, I think I'll have to finally get my act together and review the final installment of 0onegames' excellent Road to Revolution-Arc.

Thus, without further ado, here is

The Sundered Legion

The finale of the Road to revolution Campaign Arc is 51 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving 43 pages of content, so let's check out this final installment of the Road to Revolution!

This being the finale of the campaign arc, the review contains MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE WHOLE ARC. If you're a player and even remotely intrigued by the setting JUMP TO THE CONCLUSION NOW.

Still here?

All right!

After having changed (or kept) the leadership of the Great City, the mysterious force behind the recent upheavals is making himself known - with all forces occupied, busy or dead, the approaching army of General Krakon is ready to take the city and start a new era - unless the PCs intervene. Prompted by a group of retired generals, they are sent off on a chase after a general's missing daughter that has been captured by the humanoid Blood Fang mercenaries of Krakon to keep his opposition quiet. It turns out that said group has holed up in a tavern while the city is under martial law - the PCs will have a hard time carving through the elite mercenaries and then, via the tunnels below the tavern, find said abducted warrior-maiden (who has gone through a horrible ordeal indeed) and finally expose a weakness in one of the city gates' mechanisms: Via this intended weakness, they can keep the gates down and the army out long enough to thwart Krakon's coup d'état.

This is not where the adventure ends, though, and thankfully so: The trial of a century is at hand and while no direct evidence links Krakon with the insurrection (That makes him the first TRULY smart über-villain I've seen in any AP) , he can be touched via his subordinates thanks to military law. If the PCs have played their cards right throughout the adventure arc, they can call up a lot of testimonies (provided they thwart the assassination of the judge!) and make the prosecution challenge the general. If your PCs did worse, they might even be on the receiving end of the trial! In the end, after a lot of social interaction, smart maneuvering and good roleplaying, they should have Krakon and his lackey Abberbaugh cornered - until they demand a trial by combat. In the arena of the Circus Maximus, they'll potentially have the final benefits of the allies they gathered and the final confrontation is going to be epic indeed, not least due to the most dread of creatures being released to support the PC's foes by their allies. Once the two revolutionaries have bitten the dust, the Road to Revolution will be at its end and a new era for the Great City will begin - potentially with the PCs among the movers and shakers, be it for a new elite or an old one, for a new god or for the old ones.

Unfortunately, it's this final fight that is too easy - with only two NPCs (and some complications, granted), none of which is a primary spellcaster and some monsters, at least my players mopped the floor with the villains. While this may be intended, I'd add some additional opposition were I to run the adventure again.

Editing and formatting are good - while no typo impeded my ability to run the adventure, I did notice several minor typos - not enough to downgrade the adventure, but enough to make it noticeable. Layout adheres to a 2-column b/w-standard and the b/w-artworks rock. The cartography, as befitting of 0onegames, is stellar. The pdf comes with broadside and similar handouts to give to your players, which is always nice. The pdf also features extensive bookmarks.

The Sundered Legion has perhaps the hardest legacy ever to live up to - it is supposed to be the conclusion to my personal benchmark of good urban adventures. I expected the adventure to fail my expectations after "Puncture the Blackened Vein" and "The Usurpers" and it did - albeit in a more marginal way than I expected. At the finale of RtR 5, we are left with a Great City on the verge of a new era and "The Sundered Legion" somewhat fails to convey this sense of dread urgency and the first quest feels like a (very good) filler to provide the proverbial nail in the coffin for the political scheming going on. The trial herein, along its conclusion, however, will provide ample fun for PCs who went through the campaign arc. On the downside, though, the final confrontation is too easy for high-level PCs, at least it was for mine - I doubled the HP of the villains and they still walked over them. (Though I tend to double ALL Boss-HP to avoid short boss fights...) While finally whacking the conspirators SHOULD provide satisfaction for the PCs, I'm not sure whether this relatively easy battle was intended or not. It should also be noted that this adventure practically HAS to be played as a sequel to one or more of the RtR-adventures (though not necessarily the whole arc) - as a stand-alone adventure, it loses almost all of its epic, neat appeal. Thus, I'll settle for 2 final verdicts - one for people following at least a part of the RtR-series and one for people who look for a stand-alone. The latter should pass this adventure - it loses its unique flair and suffers from the detraction of the meta-plot - for you, this is a 3-Rudii file. For people following the RtR-campaign arc, though, this is a satisfying 4.5 Rudii-conclusion to the arc, which, while being the weakest of the adventures, still serves a fitting climax for the arc that cements the RtR's excellent status as a series of stellar urban adventures. For the purpose of this platform; I'll round down.

Are you looking for something completely different? Something dark? A session of dread? A High-level threat?

Why not check out Rite Publishing's

5 Room Dungeon - The Rabbit Hole

This pdf is 29 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisements, leaving 24 pages of content, so let's check out this adventure!

This being an adventure review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! This 5-room dungeon transcends the format of the premise by several factors but let me elaborate: This adventure is set in the Coliseum Morpheuon and it rocks for it - why? Because there is a place that surpasses even the Coliseum in weirdness and potential: The Rabbit Hole. Being on the realm of dreams, otherwordly beings and dread presences, aberrations and stranger things still dream as well, combining their alien minds with the sub-conscious dribble and madness seeping through the realm of dreams. In this place, people discard their dreams, throw them there to wither away - after all, dreams can destroy one as easily as a lack of them, especially on the plane of dreams!

More intriguing, once, a sorceror discarded a dream there - a dream of madness that might have destroyed said man - who happens to be the Khan of Nightmares. Born out of his betrayal of his pit-fiend ally, the sinkhole remains a dangerous demi-planar cesspit of death and now Tarrec, a peddler of dreams, hires the PCs to brave the rabbit hole. The peddler wants the PCs to go to a tavern called "The Face" where the PCs have to put a mirror on a tentacled wall horizontal (e.g. by gravity-change), put liquid on it and enter the rabbit hole. The tavern is presented with enough information to make for a disturbing introduction to the adventure and I hope to see it expanded some time in the future (Jonathan Roberts - looking for a challenge?). Jonathan Roberts is a good cue - the stellar cartographer provides a stunning full-color map of the 5 stations (I refuse to call them rooms) of this adventure. Another awesome feature of this adventure is that PCs may actually dream-burn like hell, dream-burning and morphic subjective gravity are enhanced and here, anyone may use dream-creation. I LOVE these innovations, as the expand upon the stellar mechanics of dreamburning and make the possibilities available to the PCs wider.

The adventure per se hasn't even started and it starts with a bang - the PCs fall through the floor - falling is not enough of a threat, though - The Kulkale , a CR 19 Tough Gargantuan Chaos Beastling Apocalypse Swarm is not to be trifles with and makes for a truly deadly, disturbing foe. Of course, no allusion to Alice in Wonderland would be complete without a tea-party. This one includes shard-laden crumpets and acidic tea - worst of all, the PCs should play along. Have I mentioned that the hatter here is an insane sadist whom the PCs have to appease to avoid the fate of the other tea-party guests? The third section is a moebius-loop-like labyrinth including a pack lycanthrope-nessian hellhound adamantine-clad creatures with 15 class levels. Ouch! After that, a Eldritch Shoggoth serves as the final combat encounter before the conclusion, which depends not only on the DM and his version of the coliseum, but has potential galore to be used in even more ways than provided.


Editing and Formatting of V.2.0 are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the beautiful 2-column full-color standard used in Coliseum Morpheuon and the pdf features a nice mix of classic Alice-illustrations and CM-artwork. The full-color map by Jonathan Roberts is awesome and the pdf comes with bookmarks. This is an awesome adventure that redefines 5-room dungeons. The expanded dream-rules are great. The locations, each of them, oozes style and symbolism. The Alice-allusions are dark, creepy and sufficiently distinct from e.g. Crystal Frazier's stellar "The Harrowing" or the classic Dungeonland. I have but one problem with this adventure: It is only 5 rooms long. I would have loved a full-blown cthulhoid, nightmarish, high-level Alice-scenario - preferably around 128 to 200 pages. This distinct longing for more, the captivating pull the adventure exerted over me while reading it, the imagery - this 5-room dungeon belongs to the coolest little scenarios I've read in quite a while and thus deserves my highest verdict - 5 Rudii and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval - Ben McFarland, Clinton Boomer and Matt Banach have created a stellar scenario with trademark complex statblocks that alone are probably worth the asking-price. Check it out!

All right, next time I'll have some setting book for you, though I haven't decided which! See you at the FaSB-project and a late happy new year to all of you!

As always, thank you for reading my ramblings,

Endzeitgeist out.

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