By Thilo Graf
This adventure-path plug-in adventure from Legendary Games is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction/how-to-use, 1 page author bios, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 13 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
This being an adventure review, the following text contains SPOILERS. If you’re a player, don’t risk your immortal soul and incurring your DM’s wrath by reading on!
Still here? Righty right! Early in the Carrion Crown AP, this plug-in can be considered interesting in that it centres on the tragic elf-maid Alhindriosa – fair and out of touch, the dancing maid lived a life with the gypsies until a sinister figure massacred her adopted kin with only her surviving – traumatized, she’s been in custody of varying institutions, catatonic and all but a shell of a being. The stranger has returned and he’s taken her back to the village and given her one task: Play this violin for your kin. And for the first time in over 80 years, the maid reacts and plays a dirge of the saddest kind- and her dead kin rise.
The mini-module kicks off with a cool establishing encounter in a fully mapped, full-color shop and zombified grand-parents coming to visit their living kin. and from here on, things get worse and the Pc can hire themselves out to money-lenders, save old local dogs, the postboy and even an old councillor from varying undead threats before, finally, the PCs will have to stop Alhindriosa at the cemetery by vanquishing her now resurrected brethren and destroying the dread Rebec Malevolenti, the fiddle she unwittingly plays that resurrects the undead menaces. Once they have destroyed the fiddle, the PC’s victory will be bitter-sweet, for the elven maiden falls back into her stupor and the townsfolk asks for blood – hopefully the players can prevent further death. The pdf has a one-page, stunning artwork of the final confrontation as well as another piece of beautiful cartography of the final confrontation and full stats of the devilish fiddle as well as a nice table to track the trust the PCs can get ( and lose!) during the course of this module..
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ two-column landscape format and is delivered on par with Paizo-level quality. Especially the beautiful artworks by Colby Stevenson are legendary indeed and we get two versions of the pdf, the second being more printer-friendly and backgroundless. The cartography is also up to the highest quality. This module is beautiful, the artworks stellar and the production values are awesome and up to the highest demands. And the module can easily be dropped into not only CC, but also into just about any village- that being said, Greg A. Vaughan can write adventures – we all know that. The writing is thus creepy, cool and imaginative. BUT: This module is SHORT. Very short.
And honestly, I would have enjoyed slightly more detail or choices on part of the players. Perhaps a sandboxy format with a timeline and consequences for dillydallying would have much improved my enjoyment – as written, the module feels rather like a string of sequential encounters that borders on the railroady but manages to skirt that dread appellation by virtue of its excellent writing. In the end, the “Fiddler’s Lament” is a neat little plug-in module, but one that will, at the maximum, occupy for players from 2 to 4 hours and is about as long as 0onegames’ “The Sinking”-installments, of which you could get 2.5 (albeit in b/w) for the same price. Content-wise, e.g. “Politics Unusual” and “Ascension of the Prophet” will serve as my frame of reference for rating this module.
If Legendary Games’ quality production values would not be up to these high standards with original artworks and cartography etc., I’d rate this down another star. Taking everything into account, my final verdict for this module will be 4 stars – a good, though not a stellar, short module.
The Fiddler’s Lament is available from: