Product-Darkwood Arc Excursions: Barrow of the Cursespawn
Producer– Saga RPG
TL; DR-Zelda puzzles in Pathfinder!? 93%
Basics– Welcome back to the world of Darkwood. Miners are missing, and OTHER adventures are on the way! But, after a chance meeting in a bar, you and your friends are dragged into the events at the mine. Can you save the day and find out what’s happening in the wilderness? This is a Pathfinder adventure that is designed to fit well into the Darkwood Adventure path for characters level 7.
Story or Fluff-This is an interesting one. To really get all you can out of this mission, a GM worth his/her salt must deeply read the background. This company excels at building story in their adventures, and it shows in this one. At its heart, this adventure is a simple dungeon crawl with adventure set in Saga’s world of Darkwood, but these people write an awesome intro to get your involved and build story into the dungeon to make it interesting. However, like some fantasy or Sci-Fi adventures and stories, this adventure has the Dune problem for names-way too many terms are introduced to describe thing that have a general name like a burial mound or a shaman. It’s not bad, but as a reader, it can sometimes be confusing. 4.5/5
Mechanics or Crunch-When you look at this one, it’s a pretty short adventure. If your table doesn’t mess around, you can easily get through this adventure in about three to four hours. The monsters are pretty par for the Pathfinder course at seventh level, but what will make this stand out are puzzles! I love adventures that have more than just fights. The puzzles are pretty nice. Now as a person who’s played every Legend of Zelda game, these puzzles are not world endingly difficult, but anytime you have a TIMED puzzle in a tabletop RPG, it’s going to be a good evening! The traps and monsters are all normal stuff, but its standard stuff you’d expect to fight at this level. There is new stuff here, but I don’t think any seventh level party will be overly challenged by this adventure. However, those issues maybe more of a Pathfinder system problem than anything that is written by Saga. It’s a good stand along adventure, but you’ll need all the standard Pathfinder/Paizo books to run the adventure, but to get the most from this adventure you will also need Saga original AP book (reviewed here https://throatpunchgames.com/2014/06/06/ring-side-report-rpg-review-of-the-deft-and-the-deadly/ ) 4.75/5
Execution-This is a pretty short product, but the price is right. Like I said before, these writers are great at story, but there are a few pages of nothing but text with lots of new terms. I’d like a bit more art, but what is there is art, its put to good use. Also, the puzzles and some of the traps get great layouts and art to really help the players and GM understand what’s going on and how to run the adventure properly. 4.75/5
Summary-This isn’t a perfect adventure, but it’s a damn fine one. It’s got a good plot that factors into Saga’s other metaplot for their adventure path. It’s a nice evening adventure sized adventure with fighting, traps, and puzzles. If you like Saga’s current AP, then you’re getting this one regardless of what I have to say. But, if you want some good third party Pathfinder adventure, for six bucks, you can’t go wrong here. 93%
Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of this adventure.