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The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review ) 
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Hlobane Orc

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Post The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Its poo :lol:

Sorry that’s not fair and I will try to be more constructive.

I have never given a review before so I hope I am doing this right.
I have purchased nearly every module produced by Troll Lord games and almost everyone I enjoyed, until now...
I will put the following in point form and try to be brief, it will contain spoilers as I will be talking about monsters and magic items.
.




The Story: Okay this is the one part I did not mind, the only thing that puts me off is when I see things like “Act-1, Act-2" It tells me that I need to railroad the characters or the plot will fall apart. On a positive side the beginning story does get the players into action quickly although very little was done to give the villages or villagers a "soul".

The monsters: Level 1-5!! Yeah if you are playing a rolemaster character with 100hp. Okay we got evil fairies and goblins and hags, so far so good as its setting the Celtic theme for the module and everyone likes killing those annoying fey. If you go into this module with lvl: 1 characters you will die! Encounter 1d4 night hags or eldritch goblins 1d10! Which reminds me if you do plan on Dm'ing this you are going to have to do a lot of work as each eldritch goblin has a special power. I have used one of these things against a party and they just survived, in this module there are dozens so good luck. I would put this module without any modification at levels: 5-7 as there is a lot of fighting magical creatures. Also I have noticed that the Grey King is a Cleric/mage but then a few lines below states that he is a Cleric/druid? To summarise: I like the idea of fighting evil fey but again when I read it just looks like the author should have done more work, it’s difficult to explain but it looks like someone just emptied a bucket of evil fey and put them inside a mountain.

The Treasure/magic: The gods of wealth and magic had an orgy the night before and left everything behind :shock: I don't think I have seen a +5 sword in a 1st level module before let alone two plus a few +3's and a scroll of fireball with charges? I am not going to list everything but let’s just say if you are like me the black marker will be going on rampage in so much that only a few lines of the module will be left :D There is more treasure here I think than the encounter with Orcus in RA! I did like though the +3 dagger of protection (which I assume will give a +3 AC to the person using it, as none of the unique magic items are explained).

Verdict: I bought it and I'm going to DM it! I do like the base story line and the scene, I think that this could have been a classic module if only the author had of taken his time giving the badie more " character" , more unique NPC's, better write up on the village and all in all more of a story, it just seems to me unfinished. I am going to use it as again I like the theme but I will be doing a lot of writing (and black marking) to create something playable.

Mod score: 4-10.

IMP


Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:58 pm
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Mae'n ddrwg dy fi about what you feel about my module. No one can make everyone happy but perhaps you will find the others in the series to your liking more? I like to pack high adventure and danger in my stories and put the players through a roller-coaster ride until the very end, mixed with lots of wonder, horror, mystery and magic. Dungeon crawls are fine but limited in their scope, these are something new in fantasy gaming, a new approach that most gamers have never done or imagined trying.

Maybe I can run you through it one day if we are at the same event? :ugeek:

Storytelling in general is a communal act. Throughout human history, people would gather around, whether by the fire or at a tavern, and tell stories. One person would chime in, then another, maybe someone would repeat a story they heard already but with a different spin. It's a collective process.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:19 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Celticgamer wrote:
Mae'n ddrwg dy fi about what you feel about my module. No one can make everyone happy but perhaps you will find the others in the series to your liking more? I like to pack high adventure and danger in my stories and put the players through a roller-coaster ride until the very end, mixed with lots of wonder, horror, mystery and magic. Dungeon crawls are fine but limited in their scope, these are something new in fantasy gaming, a new approach that most gamers have never done or imagined trying.

Maybe I can run you through it one day if we are at the same event? :ugeek:

Storytelling in general is a communal act. Throughout human history, people would gather around, whether by the fire or at a tavern, and tell stories. One person would chime in, then another, maybe someone would repeat a story they heard already but with a different spin. It's a collective process.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt


Cool. But, what is the story on the +3 dagger of protection? My curiosity just got poked...

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:15 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
There is no real story involved in that one, just a fun bonus! ;)

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:21 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Celticgamer wrote:
There is no real story involved in that one, just a fun bonus! ;)


I'll rephrase my question: what is a +3 dagger of protection? What is the bonus applied to, in terms of game mechanics?

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:24 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
The dagger in the Grey King's treasury! I should have specified a few more details in places, and sadly left many things like that a little vague, sorry about that! Well, the 'Protection' aspect of its power could be decided upon by the Castle Keeper. It would be against Good alignments primarily since the Grey King would likely need it. That would mean that anyone of Good alignment could not wield it or suffer some damage, maybe 1d6 a round while in hand or so.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:32 am
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Hlobane Orc

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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Could you list the abilities of some of the unique items like the; gloves that leave no trace and the stealth boots for example. I'm DM'ing Rappan Athuk at the moment but plan to fit in the Goblin module soon.
IMP

PS: Do you live in Wales? If so I could probably one day play a game.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:08 pm
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
I don't live in Wales, although I want to, but instead am not too far from the Troll Lords in actuality.

As for the items (the gloves, etc), they are in the Monsters & Treasures book! I wanted to link up that important book with the modules so everything is a bit harmonious in the end. Later today I can supply the info on here though if you don't have the book, it won't be a problem! Diolch yn fawr!

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:14 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
About the only thing that bothered me (and maybe I overlooked it in the PDF somewhere.) Is that there were nothing about the undines..as in. They guard this, but no stats in the M&T book or in the module itself.

So I had to drop a fight I was wanting my group to have and just increased goblin patrols.

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Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:18 am
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Greater Lore Drake

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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
hat's Wales, Arkansas? Right?


Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:48 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Neges, Cymru yn Phrydain Fawr! :)

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Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:30 pm
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Henchman

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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
I just purchased and finished reading this module, and my review would mostly match others, with a few exceptions:

1. I loved the premise, and the hooks. I didn't mind the "Act 1", "Act 2" text, as it seemed logical, and not forced. From page 1 I wanted to see where this was going.
2. As I continued to read, I kept thinking, "well, I can detail that out..." "I can change that a little ... " "I guess I can figure out what the author means here ..." more and more and more. It never tightens up. It seems it would need another 12 pages with more specifics. Way too many things left to "KC's discretion". I get it -- but then again things are ALWAYS at my discretion -- I can change any module I buy. But I'd like to know the author's thoughts, and what "worked" (presumably in play tested sessions).
3. The level range for the module seems unworkable. Not a Level 1 as others have commented on. And the treasures, while hard-earned, would be very powerful for a low level party.
4. Many D20/3e terms like "Navigation/Geography check", "Potion skill", etc. What? And no reference to option skill system in use?
5. The 24 room lair is underwhelming ... I would have expected more, somehow. And is it 23 or 24 rooms, because one room is unlabeled and a same-numbered room appears on two different maps?
6. The maps. Love the multiple ways in, and different ways to connect one level to the next. But, the maps just don't quite click ... passages unmarked or mis-marked.

I don't want to say I disliked, because I really did enjoy it. And I think I'll try and find someway to work it into my next campaign, but, it will need much work. In summary, it needs:

- More details; less things "left to CK". maybe could have been another 6-12 pages.
- Clearer maps, and a possibly bigger goblin/dark fey lair
- And an editor to point out the inconsistencies or missing things!

** TLG, these forums are probably full of folks who would gladly review any module or product, for free! We'll sign any NDA! Why does "sloppily edited" have to enter into nearly every product review? Let us help you!

-Greg Kramer


Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:59 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Points noted! This was my first module, so it had some rough spots and traces (I think subconsciously) from other systems in my past too. If we do a re-print, second edition it will definitely be expanded on for sure, no doubt there! I am not a big 'dungeon' designer, I like to have players explore the surface and outer worlds preferably.

I can give my thoughts on the various things you asked at some point, that would be great! Thank you for your nice words on the adventure module, the following adventures in the series have been given those improvements you mentioned...

Diolch yn fawr!

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Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:31 am
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Henchman

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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
by Brian Young
for Troll Lord Games
Castles & Crusades
Levels 1-5

Many long years ago the denizens of Mount Yr Wyddfa crawled beneath the earth; foul minded fey, goblins and others of that ilk; they fled for reasons unknown to any but themselves. The terraced slopes, the valleys, ravines and forested highlands settled in peace, farms spread along the greens, people settled and prospered. But the world unfolds, for ever turning, mirroring the past. It began with nightmares, followed by haunts hounding farmers in their fields, terrorizing them on the roads, chasing them to their sanctuaries. And then the goblins came a-hunting. Not seen in many years now they waylay travelers, despoil them of their belongs or worse, killing them on the road. And to all this the terror only adds, spreading even to hearth and home; young women have begun to disappear, kidnapped from their homes. Rumors speak of a new power, called the Grey King, which settled in the mountain. It is he that stirs up the creatures and has brought the goblins to life. Drawn by a string of random attacks on the locals, vandalism and sightings of eerie beings about the mist shrouded mountain, the characters must band together to discover the cause. To save the local villages from further devastation, the characters will need to hunt down the goblins and find the source of their rise to power.

WARNING: I like fey.

I'm conflicted on this module. It's not my style and yet I can recognize that it has something interesting going on.It is a mess. A glorious glorious mess. Can you compose and present some kind of a grand campaign in only 17 pages of text? That's what this thing tries to do. Oh, it masks itself as a normal adventure but there is no way in hell this thing can be ran in anything that resembles the form in which it's presented. If instead you take this thing as inspiration and build off of what's in it then you'd have one hell of a game. But then it would be a setting rather than an adventure. It may resemble more one of those old MERP supplements that presented a land and its environs, some castle plans, and then suggested some adventure ideas. And that's a distant cousin. I would suggest a reading of the module that treats it like a short story in order to get inspired and then go in and rip out the various salvageable portions and fill in between them to get a GREAT campaign setting and adventure.

The setting is a kind of mythic celtic England with what appears to be a heavy Welsh influence, sometime around the 8th or 9th century would be my guess. There's no sign of the Romans but instead we get a VERY strong fey flavor. There are large numbers of goblins, hobgoblins, spriggans, hags, kobolds, and others populating the environment. And they are all out to kill the players. Well, ok, not directly. The Grey King has show up and now the fey are flocking to him and he's waging a murderous war on the human lands. The goblins and hobgoblins are of the fey variety rather than the 'monster manual' variety. I don't usually mention art, but the cover to this book does not set the right tone at all. While it has some nice celts the goblin does not inspire you to think 'fey.' Back to the background. The Grey King arrives out of nowhere, sets up shop in a mountain, and start gathering evil fey to him who terrorize the countryside.

The module is organized around three Acts and there are plenty of warnings about such and such needing to survive and how the players can't kill X or Y. Those are usually danger signs but in this case they can all be safely ignored. The kind of things warned about are extremely unlikely to occur if the module is run as written and if you use this as a campaign inspiration then you're changing it all anyway. There are VERY brief descriptions of about a half dozen destroyed villages in the area. This are usually just a couple of paragraphs and are FULL of nice descriptive flavor without providing anything in the way of adventure. Eventually the players arrive in a non-destroyed village and listen to a page of monologue from a druid. This tells the players a bit about the Grey King and a magic item they can create to help them see the invisible fey. Cool! Every better, it involves the party questing to a wormwood grove and distilling it in to eyedrops! Pretty cool inclusion of the Green Fairy! Somehow the players stumble on to the environs at he base of the mountain. There are they are harassed by the dark fey that pour out of the mountain every night to terrorize the lands and also meet a couple of NPC's that the DM can use to spice up the adventure later. They are both on quests to kill he Grey King and it's pretty clear that neither will succeed, leaving a few opportunities for the DM to include the results of that in the mountain as the party explores.

The mountain lair is very cool and a TOTAL mess. There's five levels! But only 23 rooms. The map way be one of the best bad where 'many ways between levels' is involved. But you're never gonna figure out that out from the crappy maps and the the levels are too small/simple to support any benefits from this type of play. The text mentions six ways in to the complex but I could only find two of them on the map. A careful examination of the text revealed one more, and one more beyond that which was not included in the six mentioned above. Most levels have two or three exits, at least, but where they end up is not noted very well on the actual maps. The text in the module and the maps disagree frequently. One room text mentions four tunnels out to other levels, only three are shown on the actual map, only two of those are labeled and those don't indicate where they come up on that level. It's crazy! Other rooms mentions shafts that come in to them or winding stairs that stop at different levels, but that's all in the module text and not the map and it's impossible to figure out where the things go. But ... if the maps WERE accurate and you had a decent sized levels then you'd have a GREAT fortress complex for the party to explore with many many ways between levels.

There are HORDES of fey creatures in here. Most of them have special powers and most have more than 1HD. There is NO WAY a 1st level party can survive in here, and I doubt even that a fifth level party could survive. The rooms are too close together and there are WAY too many fey around. Any fight is going to pull from adjacent rooms and soon put the entire fortress on alert and the levels just are not designed in such a way that the party could sneak around; they are just too small and cramped. Oh, and the fey have 'hellhounds' which sniff out intruders and those are all over the place. The rooms are a strange combination of text which create a very evocative general environment to explore and yet have no interesting things at all. One room notes that the bottom of an undine pool is full of treasure from people they've killed. That's it, no other indication of said treasure might be. Another mentions that there are 2d10 fey guards in the rooms and leaves it up to the DM to figure out which type, from a more general list earlier in the module, and what they have for loot. Somehow the things still manages to create an evocative atmosphere, at least in general. The corridors are full of rubbish, rotting heaps of maggoty garbage, larders of humans aging and so on. The vast majority of rooms have nothing special about them all, just holding some fey to kill and generic text. The single exception if a dark temple where accidentally spilling blood on the alter can curse the party. To top it off the place collapses around/after the party after they kill the Grey King AND the party meats an asshole elf outside who the DM is instructed MUST be kept alive in order for the next adventure in the series to take place. It's CrAzY!!!!

You could ABSOLUTELY build an entire campaign around just this module, using it for inspiration and pulling out concepts and ideas. It's a cool little bit of work that is almost certainly unusable as written.


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Fri May 24, 2013 1:58 pm
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Ungern
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Post Re: The Goblins of Mount Shadow ( my review )
Nice review, I have read it and agree in some places (being it was my first module and little rough in places). There is no such thing as a 'Celtic' England, but Britain is more appropriate since that is where the name comes from originally. I do have many modifications I would like to see in future re-prints that will clean up and add even more to it! It would be great to see them in place someday.

Thanks! :-)

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Fri May 24, 2013 4:22 pm
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