Comments on Carnival Of Tears Review

I really liked the atmosphere of the adventure. Not something I would necessarily want to run over a campaign, but for a one-shot it was perfect. The somewhat bitter ending (we did pretty well, only allowing ~250 deaths) left me a bit crestfallen, especially moments after I grappled the Cold Rider, killed him with one last twist of the armor spikes, and ripped off his helm! But clearly that was an important theme of the adventure, and like I said, I really liked the overall flavor.

The war of attrition was a bit tough, I think. If everyone’s character was optimized, it wouldn’t be so bad, and thank the gods the pregen cleric had a wand of cure moderate wounds. As the grappling barbarian, I ended up being healed for 170 points of damage over the course of the adventure (3.5 times my hit points, hehe). Wands were not helpful, they were necessary.

The possibility of permanent blindness and the persistent ability damage of the poison magnifies the fatigue the party must endure over the course of the adventure. I think if we had found more clever and non-combat ways of solving problems, we would not have been in nearly as bad a shape. It was unclear to me how many options were specifically called out in the text, or how much of it would have relied on us convincing the DM to let us try something. In any case, we solved most situations by violence (which suited my barbarian fine).

SR on the Cold Rider is lame, and I am happy Alex decided not to use it. It already has very good Reflex and Will saves, the casters at this point have only a few spells left, and then you are going to give them an automatic 45% of failing outright? But this goes to the deeper problem with SR. Freedom of movement would have nerfed my character, but I think that might have been ok; I probably would have grappled the horse, at least to immobilize the Rider (unless he decided to dismount), and being inside the threatened area of his glaive, I might actually have survived :)

Overall, I liked it, but more as a one-shot than having much potential as part of an ongoing campaign.

Rating: 70% (recommended)

– Adrian 2008-03-31 07:34 UTC

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