The Book of Terniel
This Pathfinder Kickstarter caught my eye and looks pretty good. The book has some great artwork and maps and for them alone it will be worth backing. The adventure begins with:
The PCs arrive in the village of Erien, hired for the simple task of retrieving a package, the Book of Terniel. As the man they are to collect it from is not in town when they arrive, they have some time to explore the village, interact with the residents and maybe meet some of the important people. This time is important as it sets up characters and rumors the PCs will be drawing on throughout the course of the adventure (and beyond, should you choose to explore them).
Once the wizard returns and informs them that the book has been stolen, the PCs must begin their investigations. It shouldn’t take them long to learn about the Kaj’Talel, a demonic cult that has taken the book. Drawing on the connections and rumors they unearthed earlier, they’ll be pointed to the home of a local farmer where they interrupt an in-progress attack by undead (a second faction seeking the book).
Only after driving off the undead will the PCs be able to find the hidden location of the cults’ lair – a long-abandoned mine shaft in the nearby mountains. Inside these caves, the PCs meet and talk with the master of the Kaj’Talel who informs them that, while he did steal the book, it has now been taken from him. Before the PCs can learn much, they are interrupted by invading undead as the adventure transitions into something like a short dungeon crawl.
When the undead are again driven off the PCs turn their attentions to the Fetid Bog. By this time, they should suspect that thawn giants from the bog are in possession of the book. Unfortunately, these giants carefully hide their home and so the PCs must slog through the bog searching for the lair.
This search takes them to many exciting and interesting locales and offers several additional quests. They begin to learn about their enemy: why they stole the book, what they want from it, and what they can expect when they reach the giants’ lair. During this section of the adventure, PCs have lots of opportunity for free-form sandbox play as they explore and learn about the bog and its denizens.
Finally, after a long journey, they reach Morrow Home, the lair of the thawn giants. Here, they must use a mix of diplomacy, stealth and strength to recover the book from a superior foe..
Here are some key features:
- The Book of Terniel follows the PCs as they attempt to recover a stolen magical tome. There are four factions that want this book (and maybe a fifth if the PCs decide to keep it).
- The adventure is written for the Pathfinder RPG and is intended for for four to five 1st-level characters that will progress to level 3 by the end (our first playtest was with a group as large as 9 PCs so we’ll include some notes for running encounters with larger groups).
- Players can complete this module in many different ways. They may choose to side with one of the ‘evil’ factions. They may choose to kill everything in their way. They may choose diplomacy. A great deal of effort has been undertaken to ensure PCs are given a long rope.
- There are three acts to the story, each with a different focus in style of play. In the first, the PCs spend time investigating and roleplaying before a short dungeon crawl. The second is a sandbox-style exploration of a swamp. Finally it wraps up with a large dungeon where PCs can choose between stealth, diplomacy, or conflict to bring the story to a conclusion.
- Effort has been made at every stage to bring the characters and locations to life – from the hobgoblin warlord that makes pottery, to the slug farms deep in the Fetid Bog, to the friendly druid who is almost never at home as she’s out blessing farm fields.
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