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Minireview: Tears at Bitter Manor (Pathfinder)

The Pathfinder stand-alone module format has recently moved to a “fewer releases, bigger modules” format, and I for one think the change is a good one. Even though the “new style” module so far have been merely ok in quality, the format does make room for more involved plots. Here, in Tears at Bitter Manor, that extra space is used to introduce a plot more centered around investigation than combat – always welcome, in my book.

The plot involves an old band of retired adventurers who meet up with each other once a year. This year, one of them has failed to show up, and since this coincides with some other dark events in the region, the PCs are asked to look into the matter (various possible hooks are described in the module). Of course, all this would work best if the NPC band of retired adventurers had been introduced to the PC earlier, in other contexts, but that sort of thing isn’t always possible. In any case, it is assumed that the PCs take up the case, and of course there is a sinister plot behind it all. Isn’t there always.

This is a decent adventure, but it could be better. The main bad guy isn’t all that interesting, and the NPCs themselves could be a little less stereotypical and more interesting. They aren’t bad, it’s just that they are a bit bland. I did like the fact that not all of this is combat, though, so in the end it’s one more in the “decent but nothing fantastic” pile.

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