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Thread: Shades of Yesterday
Saturday, 28th April, 2001, 05:00 AM #1
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
This is a pretty unusual d20 adventure.
The adventure itself isn't spectacular (but it's not bad, just sort of Scooby Doo-ish), it's the setting or background material of it that makes it special. The setting, a small village, is amazingly well detailed and well done. Every inhabitant of the village is detailed, which a good, detailed description (including personality and motivations) and their stats.
It's that depth that makes this adventure not the typical dungeon crawl or hack & slash, but truly makes it a role playing adventure. And it really helps the suspension of disbelief - the Thorpe of Aven feels like a real place, with real people (despite it's somewhat silly name).
It's a free PDF, but it's well done. Printed out, it looks like professional quality module, other than the lack or artwork or maps (the latter is available separately.)
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Monday, 9th July, 2001, 05:00 AM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
This free product is worth downloading and reading through. Shades of Yesterday is a simple low level mystery with an linear schedule of events on the part of the antagonist. The linear schedule of events, however, allows greater feedome of roleplaying on the part of the PCs before decending into the dungeon to route the villian.
I have to say that it's a good idea to create a detailed town to set adventures in instead of an entire world. A town can be set in any world the dungeon master may otherwise be drawing from. A detailed town also serves well as a backdrop and base for the characters to hail from or return to after adventuring for rest.
The town's detail should be useful in this regard.
Monday, 20th August, 2001, 05:00 AM #3
I'm going to take the middle ground between the other 2 reviews. I have to say this module is better than average but has enough editing mistakes to keep it from getting a superb rating.
The first thing that I noticed was a lot of diction mistakes. There were many words (10+) that were that were obviously intended to be some other word (by=buy, stake=steak, etc). In one of the text boxes an entry (Firewine) is entirely repeated. I have a vague recollection of some other mistakes as well. A couple people in town have the same first name which was momentarily distracting but everyone has a last name too (how unusual for a module). Page 26 is completely blank. With an electronic document these things would be easy to fix but since it is free they don't exactly owe me anything. I don't think the boss monster's stat block is done quite right either.
The next thing I noticed after the mistakes was how incredibly detailed the town (thorp) is. Every since person who lives there is accounted for and has a stat block (except for children under 16 who are only named). Most of the adventure text is about the people in the town. The town economy is explained in detail. I can't think of very much I would ever want to know about this town that isn't detailed in 15 or so pages. They go on to tell you how the town will grow in the future is it isn't wiped out in this adventure.
This review is going to be spoiler free. I liked the overall plot of the adventure. It can be scaled up in difficulty but is rather simplistic so its best for newer players who won't feel its cliche. Established adventurers probably can't be bothered to interact with some lowly people in live in some Thorp which can't provide them with anything they don't already possess. If you don't interact with all these detailed people there isn't much point in doing this module at all.
Monday, 24th September, 2001, 05:00 AM #4
This product is more of a sourcebook than an adventure.
As a sourcebook it details a small but growing community in a lot of depth and with honest details. In fact, you may feel that it has too much detail unless you intend to base a campaign out of this place.
As an adventure, the plot is fairly straightforward, but at least it's no dungeoncrawl, and the villains aren't playing dumb.
There is also clear evidence of editing problems, as other reviewers have mentioned.
If I had to pay for this, I'd rate it as only a (3/5) and even with the only cost being electrons and time, I'll still make it a (3/5). Mainly because the production values do not encourage me to spend any money on their future products.
Tuesday, 1st January, 2002, 05:00 AM #5
Shades of Yesterday
The module is free, the first in a series of modules designed to both introduce players to the Western Plains in the Lands of Drel setting and to advance their characters from first level all the way up to fifteenth level.