Last week, I covered Cawood Publishing’s World of Myrr campaign setting and Between Dungeons Handbook which you can find here. This time around, we’re covering several Adventure Modules published by Cawood, most are set in the World of Myrr, but there is also some set in the Forgotten Realms.
Here’s the break down in case you forgot:
[Part 1] – Between Dungeons Handbook & World of Myrr campaign setting
[Part 2] – Adventures Modules in the World of Myrr (A-series) & the Forgotten Realms (B-series)
Review Disclaimer: Since these are really my first reviews on not only a campaign setting and related adventures, the products will be assessed from the perspective of a DM reading the items for nearly the first time. I shall be looking at organizational aesthetics, clarity of descriptions and instructions, along with flexibility. I will not cover the nuances of game mechanics, or whether or not an encounter is balanced. Game mechanics are entirely left to the whims of the Game Master (GM). I shall respect the authority of the GM and their decisions, while I can discuss whether or not the mechanics seem logical within the placement of the adventure, the final decisions are reserved for the one running the adventure. Encounter balance is also something left to the GM’s discretion, granted for new GMs who have little experience on the matter, it is generally assumed that encounters are balanced. For the sake of these reviews, we shall assume that all encounters are balanced, but that does not discount the fact that this review will still read them. I just might not comment on it since I have not run these Adventure Modules personally and therefore cannot make a proper claim for them. I will do my best to be informative and insightful with the products without spoiling any narrative beats.
Notes: The A-series of Adventure Modules that take place in the World of Myrr come as a pair of adventures. The pairs can be joined together to form a miniature story-arc or be done independently from a more quest driven narrative. The B-series are set in the Forgotten Realms and are independent adventures.
A1-A2 Wyld Life & Some Enchanted Evening (DriveThruRPG link here)
Taking place in the western portion of the continent of Myrr in the city of Wyld. Not only does this adventure serve as an introductory window into the World of Myrr, it quickly sets the adventurers ready to face a significant threat that looms over the region. The party will learn some dark secrets within the nobility of Wyld while dealing with a gang of halflings in A1. In A2, there are more encounters with the “Alliance” that seek to expand more about the city of Wyld.
One suggestion: there are a couple of notes that the party could find, make quick notes as handouts for your players. It’ll help them keep track of where they need to go and possibly progress the narrative into later adventure paths.
Another to note is that there are a fair amount of NPCs to remember, so I heavily suggest making note cards for some of them with the brief descriptions given within the adventure. Some of them you will interact with across adventures, so if you plan to turn this into a larger narrative, these NPCs will serve your party of adventurers well. The other suggestion is to take the NPC section and print them out.
There is a really great chase sequence in A1, I won’t spoil too much about what the players are chasing, but there is also a chart provided to add a bit of randomness to these chase scenario. Chases are a great tool to get players to think critically but ultimately to direct the narrative. Whether or not the players succeed in the chase, the story takes the party into a larger area to explore and a confrontation with some not so pleasant halflings. Additionally, the party learns more about the nobility within Wyld and their connections with a criminal underground. All of which, lead straight into A2 should the party choose to pursue this adventure path. By the end of these adventures, the party should have reached 3rd level if they had started out as 1st level characters.
In A2, there is a larger sense of exploration implemented as it involves a manor, traps, and magical objects. In the end, the party will find damaging information about one of the noble families and spear heads the party into the next adventure. There are a lot of areas to explore during this adventure, some new monsters which are included in an accompanying monster section, and leaves an excellent introduction to the World of Myrr. It’s definitely recommended that the GM be familiar with the manor’s layout, printing the materials is heavily suggested.
Unlike many adventure modules, these are written in a way to provide a blueprint for a story adventure but includes tables for random encounters and events, even charts for taverns throughout the city. In other words, while there is a story to play along, the material provides opportunities for players to explore the city of Wyld. In later adventures within the series, the players will learn more about the city, but it would be to their advantage to familiarize themselves early if possible. Given the way everything is written, it’s definitely encouraged to allow some in-between moments to occur between these story beats. A great tie-in for the Between Dungeons Handbook that we reviewed previously.
A3-A4 The Old Wood & Chasing Kyzan (DriveThruRPG link here)
Continuing where you left off from A1 and A2, the party’s next portion of their adventure takes them to the Old Wood and ultimately by the end of A4, face the deadly necromancer Kyzan. I found the table for Rumors to be a great caveat in A3, I wasn’t thrilled about the table for the Keep Locations. It was a little confusing to read through without having to always refer to the maps. It’s heavily recommended to print the maps and keep them separate while reading the adventure, it definitely makes it easier to reference.
After surviving the Old Wood, the party will face the necromancer Kyzan in a small village with an old Wizard’s college and a foreboding manor. In this adventure, we once again add more of the campaign setting’s backdrops and pieces that tie in the world of Myrr. A4 is written in a way where the party is allowed to explore this small community, but if the party feels pressed with urgency to defeat the necromancer, it will be necessary for a GM to consider the party’s capabilities before confronting Kyzan. It’s also within the GM’s best interest to print out the maps while referring to the text separately, to reduce going back and forth between them during the prep process.
Once the necromancer is defeated, a pivotal twist will occur. Though this twist can cause players to feel apprehensive about leaving the small village, the odds are against them, and ultimately they must depart. In a way, this is a good place to end the narrative or begin a new branch with involving an invading force on the village. By the end of this adventure, the players should be around 6th level, and this is a great place to use this plot twist to lead into a larger campaign. BUT if you’re not planning on developing a campaign out of this twist, I found it a little out of place even with the reasons that are used to justify the situation.
A5-A6 Secrets of Port Telvan & The Siege of Gorn (DriveThruRPG link here)
Port Telvan is a location far north of the city of Wyld, but the A5 adventure starts in Wyld with a Sea Festival. The notes to the GM indicate that a large emphasis of roleplaying will commence before being kidnapped. This provides an opportunity for the party to interact with the locals of Wyld and NPCs in general. Definitely worthwhile to print and NPC sections and keep them handy for reference. My suggestion is to point out a few NPCs that the party spot or if they have a particular NPC they wish to visit to indulge their request. There are several tables use to determine what sort of activity the party members might participate, rumors that may spread, and even possible romantic relationships. These are great pieces for a GM to build an investment for the players and the characters within the world of Myrr. While I’m personally not a big fan of so many tables, they are quite helpful for an upcoming GM who may need some guidance with where to drive the festivities for the players. Building a connection with the locals and the city will ultimately create a stronger character narrative especially in later adventures as the dark secrets of the Wyld nobles begin to surface.
Eventually, the party will get kidnapped by a group of pirates. They will be shipped out to Bloodtooth Island, where they shall make their escape on the island within another large manor. Once the party finds a way to escape, the plot will shift to learning more about their captors. Ultimately, the enemy escapes through a magical portal that the players cannot follow. After escaping and finding a means to leave the island, the party has to decide how to return back to Wyld. If the party wish to secure their own means to Wyld and not return via Port Telvan, than the remainder of A5 will be ignored along with A6. In other words, the players’ choice can ultimately decide what to do with the rest of this adventure or not. It’s encouraged that the party sail with their newfound allies to Port Telvan, to finish the remainder of the series before embarking on the conclusion of this adventure series in A9 & A10.
A7-A8 Molthik’s Lair & the Wyldwood Race (DriveThruRPG link here)
Continuing from A5-A6, the party will travel south on their way back to Wyld. On their way, they encounter travelers and refugees regarding a black dragon. The other option to tie in this adventure is a bounty or quest from a local duke to retrieve a magical sword. The party learns of the trouble and plight in a small village town, only to later find the dragons and their lizardfolk minions. Eventually, the party will confront the main dragon, Molthik, and his minions within their cavern lair. There are lots of places for the party to explore and I won’t discuss much further to avoid spoilers. My one advice for GMs would be to spend time being familiar with the cavern maps, but most importantly, spend time on developing that adventure hook that draws your players into this situation. It’ll provide a nice narrative distraction if you’re following the A-series’ plot line but still have some relevance to events in the region. Additionally, this helps situate the party with a good rapport with individuals of nobility.
A8 introduces an interesting group called the Seven Swords which honestly I felt was a great segway for a future rival adventuring group for the party. I like that we got to see something akin to that and provides the GM with future tools. I like the design of this portion of the adventure, especially the race itself. It’s a long-distance race with multiple stages, resting periods, and possible interactions with the teams. It’s like the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race which is a great change of pace from traditional combat and encounters. Granted there are numerous encounters through this race, and the chase table is there to add dynamics to the racing portions so both the GM and the players don’t know exactly who could be the winner of the race. There are plenty of dangerous encounters between segments of the race and each stage as well. Between each stage are opportunities for the party to do some roleplaying and possibly learn more about the other teams. It’s highly recommended to print out the chase tables for this particular adventure as it’ll be an easy reference resource. If you find that the chase elements are not enough, don’t be afraid to add more of your own to it. There are several ways you could run the race with, definitely keep a leader’s board so that way the party and NPCs can see the race. It will add some nice tension for the players.
A9-A10 Catacombs of Wyld & the Dark City (DriveThruRPG link here)
We have arrived at the end of this adventure path. It has been a long journey for the party, and this is where they have their major confrontation with the Alliance and the noble vampire families of Wyld. In a way, these modules finish and resolve the events starting in A1 since the party should be around 12th to 13th level, which is a good place to be when fighting off potential vampire enemies. The entire premise in A9 is for the party to find the remnants of the Wyld Gang and their headquarters. The party has an opportunity to watch or join in a Gladiator’s Club, it can provide a great distraction or entertainment if used well. There are lots of places and rooms to explore during this adventure, so it’s encouraged for the party to do so. By the end of the adventure, the party should meet a monk with information about a plot to slay a noble whole is reportedly a vampire. The Wyld Gang isn’t quite the same without their leader that was slain way back in A1-A2.
A10 creates new allies with the Inner Sons Brotherhood if they find their new friend at the end of A9, along with an invitation from the brotherhood to join in a plot to kill the head vampire of a noble family. But first, the party has to stop by a prison before making their way to the city of Bladen. Once in the city, the party will make their way to Castle Von Bladen. There is going to be a lot of preparation needed when running this portion of the adventure. There are a plethora of rooms with plenty of objects, monsters, and explorational elements. It’s highly encouraged to familiarize yourself with the castle map and the contents of the chambers. Ultimately, the party will face against Lord Von Bladen, and it will be a tough fight. Defeating Lord Von Bladen will definitely have great repercussions from the Wyld nobles who are vampires. By the end of the adventure, the party should be at least 15th level or even 16th level. The GM can easily tie in the rumors about the queen of Wyld being a vampire, which prompts the party after this adventure to investigate these claims. So while there may not be an adventure after this expansive story arc, the GM has plenty of avenues to consult after completing A10.
Final Impressions & Tips for A-Series
- Read the adventure thoroughly.
- Print the maps separately to use them as guides when preparing & running the adventures.
- The same goes for charts and tables for chases.
- Most NPC & monster stats are organized in a way where you can print the adventure out ahead of time to make them an easy reference source.
I will say that while the organization can be frustrating from a digital perspective, from a printed point of view, the adventures are organized in a meaningful manner don’t clutter the reading. There are plenty of ways for the GM to adjust events and encounters, especially random encounters. The Between Dungeons Handbook could serve as a great tool for some of the moments between adventure modules. Don’t be afraid to stray from the path of the story. The beauty of these adventure paths is that the pairs can be run together or be ignored for something else entirely. The entire A-series so far gives a wonderful introduction to the world of Myrr, especially the western portion of the continent.
B1 – Rogue Knight (DMsGuild link here)
The B-series from Cawood Publishing are offerings for the DMsGuild and therefore are design for the Forgotten Realms setting. But honestly, it can be used in any setting if so desired.
The adventure aims to be a mystery with a solid splash of wilderness exploration and definitely urban encounters. I promised to not spoil too much about any of the adventures, but I found it hilarious when I saw an encounter with a hallucinating bugbear in the woods. I did enjoy the idea of a doppelganger with a gang of orcs taking over the town and trying to have the party track down the remaining Knight of the Unicorn.
What I love about this adventure is the constant surprise of reveals from learning more about the missing “rogue” knight once the party find them and even learning about the town being overrun with orcs dressed in armor as a disguise. The party will have some opportunities pull their own subversion and subterfuge around town, especially after they learn about the doppelganger. There’s a great scene towards the end of the encounter that I really do not want to spoil, but if you can imagine the nefarious ways to abuse a doppelganger, then I’ll let your imagination run wild with speculation.
This is a great adventure, it touches on various types of gameplay. I like mysteries, and so it touches on some of the adventure tropes I like. Even if you have a more gun-ho party, the party will learn quickly that their rash judgments are not the answer and will eventually learn patience. Rash decisions can have terrible consequences. I also enjoy the portion at the end of the adventure notating should the party prevail. Because there is a possibility of failure within this adventure, with failure being the doppelganger escapes or kills the party. If the doppelganger escapes, you have an instant reoccurring villain for your party. I highly recommend being a little more liberal or loose with guiding this adventure, give the party some opportunities to build relationships with each other or the town, especially since this is a low-level adventure.
B2 – the Wizard Higgs (DMsGuild link here)
This adventure is set for adventures between 10th and 12th level, it’s broken up into two distinct segments. The first portion of the adventure involves the party entering the wizard Higg’s manor and dealing with the drow and representatives for an elder brain.
The notion of two forces seeking to vie the attentions of a powerful wizard (when it was really a clever ruse!) that seemingly has a strong connection to the Weave should already garner some interest even from the spellcasting players in the party. The party will have plenty of chances to explore the manor, finding out information, meeting some interesting creatures and NPCs and then delve into the wizard’s vault guarded by magic. Once the party finds a magical tome, they will be transported into the Underdark. What I love is the tagline that activates the spell, for it feels harkens to the Alice in Wonderland feel of the Underdark here.
The second portion has the party adventuring through the infamous drow settlement of Menzoberranzan. There will be an additional side quest that develops within the adventure, specifically with a potential coup attempt on the female drow leadership within the city. The party can use it to their advantage in their efforts to rescue the wizard from the elder brain’s experiments on him. Hope your players like dealing with drow priestesses, mind flayers, and an elder brain. To add some variety or urgency to severing the psychic link, perhaps you can treat Higgs as an unintentional conduit of the Weave, incorporating Wild Magic elements from the Wild Sorcerer origin as environmental effects. You can use this for both players and the enemies. Don’t be afraid to add some difficulty to these sort of encounters, the enemy isn’t designed to be fair.
Unlike some of the adventures published so far, there are even listings for new magic items too.
Additionally, there are pre-generated characters that be offered to the players to speed up the process and let the GM and players instantly start the adventure. I like this feature, it helps cut down on the adventure preparation.
Final Impressions & Tips for the B-Series
- Just like in the A-series, print all relevant reference materials (maps, NPCs, stats, etc.)
- For the Wizard Higgs, you can take breaks and make it episodic between the manor, entering the drow city, and delving into the Temple of Spiders
- Whether or not the party finds out why Higgs is special, the GM has some creative license here, feel free to upsell the important of the wizard.
- Develop the need for urgency prior find the tome that would ultimately teleport the party to the Underdark, it will help give your players and characters a drive or incentive to drive the narrative.
- Treat the Underdark as a dark, fantastical place full of horrors and wonder.
The B-series are a well polished when comparing the A-series on a side-by-side review. But I still appreciate the organizational aesthetical taken where a DM can earnestly print the adventure and have meaningful references to have behind their DM Screens without shuffling through all the pages of the adventure. Adventures with many parts and for higher levels will tend to take longer than a single session, plan accordingly and give yourself good cut off places within the narrative.
I’ve been a fan of Cawood Publishing and their supplement material, as it greatly helps the GM/DM with some measure of preparation and even on occasion, improvisation. Besides their wonderful campaign setting, Cawood wants to a great quality material to help GMs excel in their craft. Don’t believe me? Several of Andrew’s supplements are Silver & Copper tier bestsellers on DriveThruRPG and the DMsGuild, if that isn’t a testament to his quality, I don’t know what else to tell you. Please check out their offerings and products, there are lots of attention and detail put into these adventures.
I would like to thank Andrew Cawood for the opportunity to do this long overdue review.
Please make sure to check our other review on the Between Dungeons Handbook & World of Myrr campaign setting by Cawood Publishing which can be found here.
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Don’t forget you can also visit World of Myrr to purchase additional products & supplements.
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