The Horseshoe Calamity
This adventure clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
As always: It should be noted that I am working for Legendary Games as developer; I have received this module and the request to review it prior to taking this position, and hereby vow I’ll rate it to the best of my abilities in a neutral manner.
This adventure can be used as a stand-alone adventure, or it can be used to complement the third part of the Reign of Winter AP, “Maiden, mother, Crone.” It is intended for 7th level characters, and begins in the small town of Dolanni, inhabited by the semi-nomadic Ovoskich tribe.
The village comes with proper settlement statblock, as well as an impressive full-color map of it and its surroundings. Even better, the pdf does come with a proper, player-friendly, key-less version. Kudos! The dungeon map btw. also comes with a player-friendly version – cartographer Marco Morte did a great job here as well. The pdf contains a magic item that is a special reed – when it’s consumed, the character gets to instantly reassign a language known. There is also a magic axe contained herein that may change its damage type for cold, and a new monster at CR 8 is also included inside.
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.
All right, only GMs around? Great! So, as the PCs approach the settlement, they’ll meet a welcome committee of the most unusual kind – you see, half the populace there actually consists of centaurs. Why? Well, you see, there was a tomb unearthed, and in the tried and true tradition of foolhardy folks, a magic horseshoe was taken – and now, racial tensions are rising: As blackened ghosts (Specters) are rising from the disturbed tomb, humans blame the centaurs for not returning the horseshoe, while the centaurs consider the humans reticence to fight cowardly. Both sides have suffered losses at this point, and it’s only a matter of time before things escalate.
The first component of the module is about deescalating the racial tensions – which, while optional and good in the long run, will pit the PCs against a hothead centaur hunter, potentially has the PCs partake in aforementioned reed, and face down the inevitable specter attack. The second part of the adventure has the PCs explore the tomb that the scout Alasha plundered by kinda-accident, facing the new monster, the hoofghast (basically an undead centaur that heals in cold temperatures and has a concentration/Int-based skill/ability-impeding aura) and also a dread frost wight cleric of Kostchtchie, which can provide hints/an optional tie-in with the big AP-module. Rewards for the winged horseshoes and rewards are appropriate.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, though there are a few instances where magic item references aren’t italicized. Layout adheres to the neat two-column full-color standard of the Reign of Winter-plugins, and the pdf sports several really nice, original full-color artworks I haven’t seen before. The cartography, as noted, is amazing, with full player-friendly map support. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Ron Lundeen’s “Horseshoe Calamity” can help provide a more organic introduction into the statues-dungeon of the AP, and it makes for a nice chance to roleplay. It is, in short, a nice sidetrek with excellent production values. While its brevity means that it’s not exactly the most complex of narratives, it doesn’t have to be. All in all, this is a nice little addition to the AP. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.
You can get this nice expansion/sidetrek here on OBS!