By Thilo Graf
This adventure set in Silver Crescent Publishing‘s rather interesting world Relistan is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 28 pages of content, so let’s check out what Relistan has to offer this time!
This being an adventure review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players might want to jump to the conclusion.
Still here? All right!
The adventure begins with the PCs arriving in the small town of Kuras, where they attend a town meeting in progress – it seems like the border town has experienced assaults by some unidentified predators from the nearby jungle. The local clergy fears that the sick livestock sacrificed to the god of jungles and pestilence might have angered their god, the manifestation of the jungle called Pelazin and thus refuses to heal the only person in town potentially capable of even fighting these interlopers. Enter the PCs – unbeknownst to anyone, not Pelazin is angry, but one of his more radical druids.
Even worse, the druid does not care about said sacrifice and sees any civilization as an affront to his master and thus seeks to slowly annihilate the town via his pets – a whole clutch of claw leapers, jumping insectoid/reptilian predators who already managed to kill several townsfolk. The Pc’s investigation with the authority figures and respective families not only provides the clues (and a red herring) to determine the nature of the attackers, but also provides ample opportunity for the DM to endear the townsfolk to the PCs.
In fact, I was positively surprised by the attention to detail given the respective families, as each is offered their own section and read-aloud text. Once the nature of the attackers is clear, the claw-leapers attack and it is here the DM (as well as the players) benefit from the BEAUTIFUL maps of both the town (in the appendix) and a sample farm by Jonathan Roberts. Indeed, the maps are so neat and dark that I think they can be easily used in other adventures. Even better, they come with grids, but without annoying map keys and numbers cluttering the map – no suspension-of-disbelief breaking elements – nice!
While the same cannot be said of the again, beautiful maps of the dungeon that hides the perpetrator, the showdown makes for a creepy tracking of the runaway claw leapers and leads up to a nice furious finale with the dromite druid behind these cruel predations.
The pdf also features a full-blown write up of the church of Pelazin and its holy days as well as an extensive write-up of the town of Kuras and all key-buildings and 3 pages containing 6 pre-generated characters.
Editing and formatting are good – although I noticed some homophone-mistakes à la tail/tale, there were less of them than in e.g. Lycan’s Bane. Layout adheres to a two-column standard and the adventure per se comes with a nice leafy border. The original pieces of full-colour artwork and the stellar cartography do a lot to endear me to this adventure. The pdf comes with bookmarks, which are always nice to have. There are some strange layout/formatting choices you should be aware of, though: The pregens have a parchment-like background and come two characters per page, making printing them out and handing them as is to the players a bit impractical – I would have preferred blank space and 1 character per page for convenience’s sake. The adventure features a good pace and while the investigation is anything but difficult, the PCs can’t just waltz through the section. While this adventure is surely not the most difficult or innovative out there, it provides a sympathetic little community to kick off your campaign (or for the PCs to venture through) and the amount of details given to the families made Kuras come alive in my mind. While not being a perfect adventure, it is enjoyable and the cartography makes somewhat up for shortcomings in editing. Thus, my final verdict will be 4 stars.
Claws of Pelazin is available from: