A Lion in the Ropes
A Lion in the Ropes Playtest Review by Andrew Hind on 14/07/01
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)
Substance: 4 (Meaty)
A great low-level mystery adventure that finely balances investigation and sword-play.
Product: A Lion in the Ropes
Author: Stephen Chenault
Company/Publisher: Troll Lord Games
Line: d20 D&D adventures
Page count: 24
Year published: 2000
SKU: TLG 1410
Comp copy?: no
Playtest Review by Andrew Hind on 14/07/01
Genre tags: Fantasy Horror
In a crowded field, A Lion in the Ropes, the 24 page adventure from Troll Lord Games, emerges as one of the best low-level adventures for D&D. This is via a well scripted mystery story that features some genuine chills and a strong climactic battle that will send your players away wondering if the horror is really over.
In A Lion in the Ropes, the player characters arrive in the lands of the aged warrior Lord Galveston. Enfeebled with age, he is no longer able to hunt the evil that stalks the land himself, and asks that the heroes do so in his stead. The deacon of Four Saints church is missing, 14 villagers slain, and every five days a new attack occurs. It is rumoured a dreaded Charon fiend stalks the land. Or are the misfits and gypsies from the Johannes Fevers travelling circus somehow behind the mysterious events? What of the suspicious monks? Are they as benign as they first appear?
A few well-placed red herrings keep the players guessing about the culprits, and when they finally do uncover the truth, the discovery does not disappoint. The power behind the incidents is suitably evil and frightening, and manages to provide a mortal threat to the characters without being overpowering…..no mean feat in low-level adventures, so often populated by uninspired monsters (goblins, giant vermin, and the dreaded stirges!)
Though hampered by a somewhat static opening which takes a while to get the ball rolling, A Lion in the Ropes supplies its share of well-orchestrated thrills. Strong on logic and with a sound back story, your players will not have to suspend their disbelief, making for a more exciting evening of gaming.
Layout and cartography are professionally done, while the interior art is generally very good, particularly the illustration depicting the climax (wow!). Stephen Chenault writes is an effortless and readily comprehensible prose, and does the adventure great service with his mood setting "read-alouds". The effort is rounded out by two excellent new monsters and a new priest spell.
Those in need of low-level adventures should pick up A Lion in the Ropes, a fun-as-a-pillow-fight scenario. Ok, maybe it's a little more fun than a pillow fight, and it doesn't give you those dizzying headspells, but you get the point. Check it out; at $6.00 it provides good value