Tavern Tales: The Troubleshooters (5e)
This 5e-conversion of the expansion-sidequest for The Angelic Imp tavern clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1/2 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 3 1/2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Wait, before we do: The Angelic Imp? Yep, that would be a pretty nice, high-class and discrete tavern/restaurant, perfect for romantic dalliances and secret business dealings – it can be found in Tangible Taverns: Trio of Taverns. While this module can work on its own (sporting the cartography etc.), it ultimately is intended as an expansion/ready-to-drop-in module for said place and I am going to rate it thusly.
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right, still here? Great!
The PCs are hired by one Demetrius Flannigan, who is in the process of securing the business deal of a lifetime with Tarsis, an elf with crucial information – and said deal, obviously, will take place in the Angelic Imp. Alas and alack, the man’s usual security’s sick and he needs muscle to back him up…discretely. This is where the PCs come in. Will he need the PCs? You betcha!
You see, Deloris Franz (somewhat unfortunately named – Franz is a German first name only used for guys and almost never as a family name), a local celebrity and business rival, has heard about the deal and 3 thugs are already waiting close to the Imp to get to Demetrius. So if the PCs didn’t think about guarding him en route…that’s already an issue. Being dressed inappropriately…similarly problematic. In order to make sure the business deal goes according to plan, the PCs will need to be vigilant indeed – and prevent a lover’s quarrel from escalating and souring the mood, for example.
Things become more problematic, as Deloris arrives with an bodyguard (under the pretense of a date) and proceeds to run interference and employ brawlers outside, doing her outmost to sour the deal. A complex array of modifications, depending on the PC’s actions and lack thereof influence the deal and how it goes down…and yes, their payment. In case you’re wondering, btw. – particularly characters adept at Wisdom (Perception) and (insight) will have some serious chances to shine here -though Charisma (persuasion) will also be useful.
The pdf also provides further adventuring possibilities, just so you know! The 5e-iteration also goes one step beyond, providing a full write-up for Deloris, who clocks in as a challenge 2 adversary who is VERY adept at enchanting others and a properly worded reaction ability to get out alive of nasty situations – kudos for going the extra mile here and providing a memorable antagonist beyond the generic, linked SRD-stats!
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring hiccups. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports some solid stock art. The cartography of the tavern is functional. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Kelly & Ken Pawlik’s Troubleshooters is an EXCELLENT little module: It makes great use of the tavern and its clientele; it has a unique and creative premise; it allows for degrees of success or failure and it is rewarding to play. This is most definitely a pdf you should download right now and leave an appropriate tip for it. This can be a pretty fun and evocative little module and shows the potential of this series. Considering the PWYW-nature, I can’t find any reason to not rate this 5 stars + seal of approval. Were this a commercial venture, I’d suggest more diverse skill-checks – this is pretty Perception and Insight-heavy, but that is really just me reaching for something to complain about. The fact that we get a pretty cool NPC-adversary to supplement the module is just the icing on the cake – if you have the luxury of choosing PFRPG or 5e, the 5e-version’s better this time around. Anyways…Get this!
You can get this great sidetrek here on OBS for PWYW!
You can get the associated tavern here on OBS!