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Thread: 11th Hour
Sunday, 31st August, 2008, 05:46 PM #1
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Spoilers, Spoilers, Spoilers. This review is of a module that can not be discussed without fully spoiling it. Please donít read this if you think you might one day get to play through the module. There is a special twist and like with movies knowing the twist does ruin the experience for yourself and the people you are gaming with. This is not going to be an easy module for your DM to run so be kind to him and donít ruin the adventure.
The 11th Hour is a module written by Bret Boyd. It is a PDF adventure and one of the few adventures that is better as a PDF then if one bough t it in print. It is not a long adventure though if played the way the author suggests it could take a few hours or longer to go through. The module is written under the Open Game License for third edition Dungeons and Dragons. The idea of the adventure though is one that can easily be used in almost any game though one will need some sort of supernatural element of science fiction in there to explain how it all happens.
What happens then? What is the module all about and why is it so important that even the slightest knowledge can ruin the adventure? It is about a time loop. I have not seen any other adventure try this sort of thing before though it is a staple of science fiction stories. The group of first level characters though it should be easy to make this adventure for higher level ones as well comes into an inn or tavern out of a rain storm. It does not matter where the tave3rn is, everything the adventure needs is right here. One of the great yet very challenging ideas of the adventure is to play it in real time. The group arrives in the Tavern and has many planned encounters that happen at different times around the place. The whole thing takes on hour and at the end of that hour everything repeats itself and only the player characters have memory of the previous hour. There are eleven things the module has happen in that hour. From the players point of view most of them could somehow be causing the time loop and they have to investigate each to learn what is going on. And it is possible for the group to stop the time loop without realizing what they have done stops it till it doesnít happen again.
The adventure is very detailed oriented. With the events repeating themselves it is important for the DM to take notes on exactly what happens in the first hour so he knows how to have things play out in the hours that follow. It is the reason this adventure makes good use of being a PDF. There are places for notes in each encounter. It is very useful to have ones notes on the same pages the encounter. And with this being a PDF one can print off multiple copies that are clean instead of having to write on the master print version.
The time loop does involve rats and when my group played through it they almost stopped the loop from ever happening. They had the magical item known as the Pipes of the Sewers and we always play with it bringing out the rats in the area like the Pied Piper. They almost used it early on but talked themselves out of it. That is the only real concern for a higher level group I would have. They might have means to accidently make it so the time loop never happens.
The adventure is something very different from almost anything out there. There is no dungeon crawl and really no chance for player character death. It is a mystery and a chance to introduce some colorful NPCs that are not expected to be killed off. It is much more of a role playing module then almost any other module I have read or played for D&D. I highly suggest this one for people looking for a night of something different. IT would make for a good side adventure after a particularly thrilling and long dungeon crawl. It could also make a good one shot since it requires not a lot of preparation ahead of time. The DM though needs to take notes during the adventure. It is edition proof. There is nothing in here that would stop one from using it with other editions of D&D or even other games. The elements and details might have to change for this to fit into a modern game of Scion or into Traveler. But the core idea of having a Time Loop should be easy to do in most games.
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