Back to the Foundry once more. Kasul and I had intended to start reviewing the Cult of the Dragon foundry contest entries tonight, but the start date for those has been moved to next week. The new module and the inevitable Foundry issues made it impossible for many authors to get their quests into shape before the deadline of yesterday passed. For instance, using the words “to pass” anywhere in your quest flags it as profane.
If I wanted a player “to pass” through a cavern… well, wash my mouth out with soap, there might be children playing. Children!
Children might well have played the two quests we got to last night, as they are both featured quests. One currently, one not too long in the past.
H1 – Harrowing Hildbrant by HellsHot
Part 1 of the “Haronomous Saga”. The author’s spelling is so atrocious that I can’t tell if the misspellings of “Hildebrandt” and “Hieronymus” are intentional or accidental.
But you know who doesn’t need spelling? Wizards! Especially wizards who get into magical battles with other wizards and start bringing the copious spider statues — positioned strategically among and above the places where innocent villagers gather — to terrifying life!
Speculator Zigto started us off on a journey to his home town. His brother, a guard there, fills you in on the wizard battle, and asks you to investigate the disappearances of so many people who were apparently whisked from the street by some deadly force. It’s impossible for villagers (or the mayor) to lift their heads to see the enormous spiders crawling among the village’s rooftops, hungrily stalking their next meal.
Still, Kasul and I went through the motions, trying to overlook the pop culture references (Seriously? Buffy’s S4 big bad is a character here?).
Eventually we went in search of the arachnophiliac wizard who caused this mess, but only find his dancing eye familiar and portals to close.
The ending was quite cinematic and a lot of fun :)
The quest was short and linear, and the spelling was atrocious, but at the end of it, both Kasul and I had been entertained. That’s really what you want from a foundry, and so we both gave it four stars.
Frozen Folly by epharmd
This quest was featured late last month, but Kasul and I played it in its pre-featured state back in June. Given how much we enjoyed the author’s second foundry, Bargain Hunting, we decided to see how the first had changed on its journey to featuring.
A dwarven expedition exploring outwards from Icewind Dale hit upon a barrow deep in a mountain dark. Naturally, they called for a little adventuring support, but unwisely decided to go on before we arrived. Drow assassins had gotten there before them and needed no dwarven interference as they themselves rushed ahead to awaken the dormant secrets of the barrow.
Kasul and I didn’t decide to re-run this quest on purpose. To be fair, almost every quest description sounds the same — you’ve been called to someplace to kill stuff. But once in, we recognized the first map full of trash mobs. Deciding to continue nonetheless, we cleared those and entered the barrow.
It had changed quite a lot since our first visit. Epharmd’s tactic of leaving half the quest’s content to be discovered by wandering adventurers was in full force here, making it easy to lose sight of the actual, quite linear, quest. The simple rule to always turn away from the sparkling trail leads players to the best stuff.
We spent a lot more time in this quest than we intended, and ran out of time to do any other quests. But, it was worth it. A nice expansion of the original quest.
Kasul and I both gave it five stars.
Next week — will there be Cult contest entries to play? Who knows? But we’ll be there if there are.