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Haunted Highlands ~ Dro Mandras 
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Battle Stag
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Post Haunted Highlands ~ Dro Mandras
I understand that there is another Dro Mandras PDF thread floating around GD, but I thought I would post here regarding the particulars.

Picked up the print version of Dro Mandras today, and immediately dove right in. Man, 36 pages is just not enough to fit in everything! Though DB4 Dro Mandras only covers 50% of the city itself, the product IS NOT incomplete. The adventurer friendly half of the city is fully detailed. The other half of Dro mandras is under the control of the vile orc armies of Yorgach, and will be detailed in an upcoming release. DB4 focuses pretty much on just the western side of the city, it's notable locations, NPCs, etc.

Casey Christofferson (the author) really puts a lot of information in one 36 page module. The reader can tell that there is more to this city then what is presented, but you never feel like it's incomplete. This lends the module to easily being dropped into any campaign and then go from there. But the good thing about Casey Christofferson's writing is that while there is plenty of room to expand and place this city anywhere, the descriptions and names of the people and places really make Dro Mandras drip with atmosphere. I found this module to have just the perfect amount of info presented to create a good "drop-in" setting while still maintaining a strong identity. A feat that is sometimes hard for a writer to do when making a "generic setting." Dro Mandras is what I would call a perfect "micro-setting," and far from being generic.

The artwork is 100% by TLG's own Peter Bradley (does this guy ever get out of the house?!) and is really good ~ great cover, large, dramatic interior pictures and lots of grandios-sized maps! The artwork in here, when compared to the other TLG modules, is probably in the top-3. It's pretty damn swanky.

DB4: Dro Mandras is actually half a sourcebook on the NPCs, places within the city and a brief history of Dro Mandras and the greater setting. The other half is comprised of 2 very short adventures. Though it's important to note that the sourcebook aspect of DB4 contains many seeds for other adventures. The adventures are decent, but very short. Any seasoned Castle Keeper could easily expand upon the adventures or adventure seeds with little effort.

It is interesting to note that the statistics for the enemies are actually dual-statted. The reason for this is that the second sets of statistics is for a future mass combat rulesset called "Tides of Battle." This mass battle system has been bouncing around Casey Christofferson and the Troll Lords for a while now. Last I heard there was no definative answer as to whether these rules would ever see the light of day or not. With DB4: Dro Mandras being dual-statted, it looks like the "Tides of Battle" mass combat rules for the C&C game will be forthcoming. Reading the nature of this module, plus what will apparently be in the next few Haunted Highland modules, the mass combat rules will surely be needed.

Overall, I beleive this is one of Troll Lord Games best "modules." Though this module is 50/50 sourcebook and adventure, it's hard to say this is a module by the classic sense of the term. Regardless, DB4: Dro Mandras is really good any way you shake a stick at it.

Omote Rating .............................. 9.5 / 11.0

The only reason I'm dinging this review down a 1/2 point is because there are a few editing/spelling errors. Though in all honesty, the few that are here are pretty insignificant (honestly).
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: As a big fan of the Haunted Highlands setting thus far, I was trying to be as objective as possible when reviewing this material. However, I've got to say that with the release of DB4: Dra Mandras, there needs to be a folio setting edition of the Haunted Highlands setting! This module throws out so many hooks and hints about the rest of the Haunted Highlands (and even more distant setting info), that there is so much more to say from the author. From reading this one book, there is much more Haunted Highlands that needs to see the light of day. That much is for certain.

-O
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Sat May 31, 2008 2:53 am
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Ulthal
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Thanks for the review, Omote. I'm a big fan of the setting and look forward to picking this one up. Too bad it's not part of the TLG sale!
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Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:58 pm
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Red Cap

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Check again Geleg, it's on there.

If history serves correctly, correlating with this sale, you guys will probably have your copies and most of the first printing before i get my hard copy
Enjoy!

Case


Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:04 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Haunted Highlands ~ Dro Mandras
Quote:
Omote wrote:
Overall, I beleive this is one of Troll Lord Games best "modules." Though this module is 50/50 sourcebook and adventure, it's hard to say this is a module by the classic sense of the term.



Agreed. DB4 is easily one of the best works put out by TLG.

The great thing about the DB series is that DB1 and DB4 are more setting books than they are modules. You don't just get a module / dungeon. You get a setting you can have countless adventures in.


Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:03 pm
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Clang lives!
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Thanks for the review, Omote. Now all I have to do is wait for my finances to improve a bit and get my copy.

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Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:28 am
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Battle Stag
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On the Anvil section has the mockup for Dro Mandras II. That must mean it is on it's way, sooner then later Whoo.
-O
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Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:20 pm
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