B6 The Veiled Society
B6 The Veiled Society Capsule Review by James Landry on 14/04/01
Style: 3 (Average)
Substance: 3 (Average)
A decent political intrigue adventure, but a little limited due to its shortness.
Product: B6 The Veiled Society
Author: James Landry
Line: Basic D&D
Page count: 32
Year published: 1984
Capsule Review by James Landry on 14/04/01
Genre tags: Fantasy
This is one in a series of reviews covering most of the Basic D&D sets and modules. I was digging through my old D&D materials before selling them, and decided to write reviews of them for people to know what is worthwhile and what should be avoided.
These reviews will contain spoilers, so avoid at your own risk. Of course, since these modules have been out for 17 years or so, maybe it is a little late for spoiler warnings.
B6 the Veiled Society
Intrigue and plots in a great city is the subtext of this adventure written by David Cook in 1984 and clocking in at 16 pages. It also contains mockups of buildings and cardboard cutouts for the PCs and important NPCs, to be used as crude miniatures and sets.
(As a side note, the map of Specularum presented in this product is notably different from the map as shown in all later products.)
Three families are struggling for power in Specularum: the Radu family (merchant family that controls the waterfront and walls), the Torenescu family (wealthy fading faction that controls the noble district), and the Vorloi (an upstart faction controlled by a merchant prince).
This module uses a flowchart of encounters, recently hailed as a new innovation in the third edition DMG. Every encounter has a layout of buildings to represent the current scene the PCs are in. In addition, every encounter has a short dialog snippet from the arch-conspirators of this adventure - the Veiled Society.
This adventure traces the actions of the Veiled Society (controlled by the Radu faction) to discredit the other factions and seize control of the city. The good part of the adventure is that it is designed so that the PCs can take different sides and help or hinder the plot as it goes forward. They can also switch sides in the middle. The adventure even attempts to split up the PCs, so that they can join different factions.
The module is a bit thin, so there are only seven real encounters, many of them fairly short. The characters find hidden tunnels under houses and discover murderers disposing of a body. The body is of a young woman of the Vorloi who spurned a Torenescu. The mood of the city grows tense as many blame the Torenescu for her murder. Riots break out and guardsmen are called to intervene. The characters can escape the riot and chase a rabblerouser or lead the riot. After the riot, the characters are approached to work for the Torenescu or the Veiled Society. The Torenescu faction PCs are assigned to guard a noble, while the Veiled Society PCs are assigned to ambush and kill him. After the ambush, the characters can start putting clues together and deduce the culprits. If they aren't getting it, they may be able to trace survivors of an ambush to their lair. At the lair, they must contend with the Veiled Society members and discover proof of their involvement.
The module hangs together pretty well, and there is enough here to run the adventure, though just barely. There is no real additional information about the city, but that also means this adventure can be easily dropped into a city of your choosing. If the PCs are not that directed, the DM will have to create a fair amount of additional material. On the other hand, this plot and encounters make more sense than Speaker in Dreams, and this is a better adventure, though a lot shorter. This city adventure is probably best run with another city adventure or setting information to provide additional flavor and encounters.