Day 19 of #RPGaDAY.
Favourite Published Adventure.
I’ve already talked about a couple of adventures I’m fond of earlier in the month, both of which would very much be contenders for this category. My final choice however, is less of a single adventure, and much more an entire campaign.
The Shackled City Adventure Path for D&D 3.5 is a huge affair, spanning 12 sizeable adventures and no shortage of plot hooks to slot in between them. Designed to take characters from 1st to 20th level, it was originally printed over a couple of years in Dungeon Magazine. A single volume reprint was produced shortly after the final adventure was published, including a couple of appendices of supplemental material and weighs in at 416 pages.
The adventures are set in and around the city of Cauldron, an obscure part of the Greyhawk setting but very easily transplanted into most other D&D settings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it becomes very detailed over the course of the adventures and is populated with dozens of NPCs for the players to interact with. This isn’t to say it’s limited to just urban adventuring however, with jaunts into the neighbouring jungles, mountains, Underdark and even extra-planar jaunts included.
And there’s a lot of varied encounters included. It’s got its fair share of combat, but there’s urban and wilderness exploration to be done, deals to be made, negotiations to be conducted between NPC faction, tense political situations, and even a riot to be incited or stopped.
I took a group through from 1st to 13th level through this Adventure Path, but unfortunately we came to a halt as members of the group moved away and our schedules became increasingly difficult to match up. It’s something I’d love to try running again in the future, although I’d almost certainly want to convert the whole thing over to 4th Edition – no small task in its own right…
It’s not flawless by any stretch of the imagination (the early adventures feel pretty disconnected from one another), but it’s a genuinely impressive work.
Check out the Paizo Publishing website for more information about Shackled City, and no shortage of other adventures and Adventure Paths. While Pathfinder isn’t mechanically to my tastes, I’m consistently impressed by what Paizo produce and their inclusive attitude towards game design.