Friday, January 13, 2012

Armchair Reviews: The Cursed Chateau

Here's my short review for the neo-classic adventure module The Cursed Chateau:
I'm only familiar with one of the stated inspirations for The Cursed Chateau -- the classic D&D Module X2 Chateau D'Amberville (Castle Amber), and as such that framed a lot of my expectations for the adventure.

In general, I liked the setup of the map and the anticipated flow of adventurers through the Chateau -- initial encounters being more weird than fatal (unless the adventurers take unnecessary risks), and later encounters becoming more challenging. Of course, the overall setup of the adventure is primarily one of running through a gauntlet until certain conditions are met.

Of course, that's the main issue I had with the adventure: keeping track of whether or not conditions have been met actually ends up consuming a fair amount of the DM's time when running this neoretro-module and I wonder -- if followed as written - that may be some unnecessary overhead to the DM's work.

I loved the artwork -- very atmospheric and evocative of the strangeness DMs should be striving for when showing the strangeness and the horrors of the Chateau. The latter rooms also felt a lot like classic Castle Amber, where players begin encountering evidence of the former resident's life choices and their inevitable ends as they stumble towards their ultimate release from the Chateau.

All in all, a very solid module to run -- though the record keeping associated with the core conceit of the module may have to be handwaved for DMs adverse to it.

Of course, it goes without saying that I haven't had a chance to run the thing, so this isn't a playtested review.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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