B04 – The Cave Beast’s Hoard (Revised Edition)
This revised edition of the B04 module clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
There is something you’ll note from the get-go – you wouldn’t know this module for what it once was. From a cleared layout to copious new artwork and maps, the production values have increased by a huge step, bringing this up to par with AAW Games’ new standard. The font-size is also pretty small, making the module longer than one would think from the page-count. That out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this revision.
The following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right! First of all, the town of Woodwall is fully depicted, with settlement stats et al. – which may be nice…it becomes even cooler once you realize the town’s unique fey-themed defenses and its unique magical fountain – indeed, there is quite a bit of research to be done in town (what about a sample legend?) and the overland map also helps vividly picture the environment. A quick investigation should point the PCs quickly towards an ominous “cave beast”, which may or may not be a beast or a couple of people, who has been picking off people – one by one. Curious and sharp-witted players may realize here, that there is a theme connecting the disappearances…
The PCs are on a scavenger hunt here, checking mines, old forests and seas for clues of what has happened – and indeed, each place yields new hints and red herrings – and unique challenges with e.g. a nasty Gathlain sorceror – each of the places contains a piece of the puzzle, each place has become the doom of one fleeing apprentice of a particular, long-gone wizard – once these have been cleared out, only a fully mapped keep remains, wherein the PCs will have to brave a kobold infestation to fin the true nature of the cave beast – and no, they may believe the kobolds alone to be responsible, but a close examination of the treasure hoard will quickly disprove this thesis. And then, there is the final confrontation, with the animated golem, all made from the treasure of the long-dead wizard – and here is, where the module becomes awesome. The massive creature is exceedingly deadly – but throughout the module, the PCs could find ways to even the field – each apprentice has left them one way of making the fight easier and careful investigation in the beginning of the module can also provide means of making this challenging, cool puzzle-boss-fight more manageable.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to AAW Games’ two-column full-color standard, including gorgeous maps (with player-friendly versions!), copious amount of original artwork and full bookmarks for your convenience.
This happens when a company of dedicated individuals CARES. This old module, a blemish, has been changed to an extent, where you wouldn’t believe that this and its predecessor are even related – the writing has vastly improved and Mike Myler has brought his A-game to the table not only the town, but the whole flow of the module much, much more impressive – and especially the way in which the furious finale has been upgraded to actually reward the actions of the PCs! This module rewards sharp players, provides diverse challenges and took Jacob Kellogg’s least refined module and turned it into something beautiful. Add to that the massively increased production values and we have a classic example of “From Zero to Hero” – as provided, this revision is fun, diverse and offers multiple challenges for the PCs to face. I *really* love what has been done here, I applaud this level of commitment and I gladly award this revision 5 stars + seal of approval, rendering it a worthy addition to the canon of AAW Games-modules.
You can get this vastly-improved, new version of the module here on OBS!