Brotherhood of Prophecy

In an effort to get more adventure reviews written for the D&D Archive, I bought a stack of adventures on eBay. This one was the first I picked up and read through, since it was short and had an interesting cover. According to the module, the adventure is suitable for 5-6 PCs of 1st-3rd level. The adventure concept is little bit clichéd, though there’s a lot to be said for classic ideas. A city on the outskirts of civilization is about to come under attack by an army of goblins and orcs, and the nearby monastery has already fallen. The PCs are hired to investigate what happened to the monastery. As I said, there’s nothing wrong with a classic idea, but the timeline for this adventure is pretty confusing. The monastery fell six months ago and the scouts originally sent to find out what happened disappeared three months ago. The attackers want to take the city, but haven’t, despite the fact that it’s only a two or three day journey. There are many different things the PCs can do in this adventure. There’s the monastery, there’s a group of bandits in the woods, there’s a temple ruin they can raid, there’s a witch in the woods, vampire trees, an undead spy in the city and an orc encampment they might decide to attack. The problem is that I think the designers might have put too many things in the adventure. As a result, it doesn’t come together very well, and feels more like a series of things the PCs might do while visiting the area rather than an actual adventure. Once the PCs get to the monastery, they discover that everyone inside has been killed, except for a small group of people that have somehow managed to keep an entire army (including goblins riding giant bats!) at bay with a single ballista. I’m not sure at all how the inhabitants of the monastery were killed without the army having breeched the walls. Additionally, the PCs discover beneath the monastery the tomb of an ancient necromancer who once threatened the world, though for a necromancer’s tomb, there’s a serious shortage of the undead. At the end of the day, this adventure is not really about the PCs accomplishing something big. They get to the monastery, discover what happened and run back to town, probably with the entire army on their tails. This is the army that, for unspecified reasons, didn’t attack the city, but will happily follow the PCs back and launch a siege. There are some good things about this adventure. For example, the authors included a rumor mill that the DM can draw from in the event that the PCs start asking questions. There’s also a list of possible side quests the PCs might be able to do, should the idea of going to the monastery not appeal to them immediately. However, I don’t think that these things can make up for the lack of cohesion in the story. Further, in the entire adventure, there wasn’t a single proper stat block, which forces the DM to do more work than he should have to do. This adventure is not without its charm, but I’d only recommend it if you’re willing to put some work into it.

 

Brotherhood of Prophecy

Author: Chuck McGrew
Publisher: Scarab Games
Publish Date: 05/2001
ISBN: 0-9708360-0-7
Pages: 32
Rating:
Retail Price: $9.95