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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.


The Awakening
Ravenloft Adventure
AD&D 2nd Edition
TSR Inc.
[sterling]5.99 - 64pp

Ravenloft returns to its ancient Egyptian theme yet again for this adventure for characters of levels 4-6. They become entwined in a twisted plot that sees the return of an ancient cat lover who ain't pussy footin' around, and when the villagers start to disappear they have to enter a dunge.... whoops, sorry, a tomb. The tomb in question belongs to an extremely old sadist who just won't lie down, and it may take the party several attempts before she does.

The adventure is set in the lands of Nova Vaasa, as yet unexplored by any of the other Ravenloft adventures, and so brings to the front of the stage the Lord of that domain, those who support him and those who like to peel him and dip him in salt. Sound familiar? Yes, every other Ravenloft adventure seems to have followed this format - but does it work? It is nice to see the domain lords taking an interest in the lives of the PCs, but it becomes a little tedious when it happens every adventure: "Oh" said the PC. "The DM has just read a big description of you. You must be the domain lord, you usually pop up around now to prove that you're not really a bad guy."

"Thwack!"

"How many XPs was he worth, then." Does that scenario sound familiar?

The module finishes off with the usual mixed bag of magical items and new monsters to add to an already overcrowded game. Most of which seem to be variations on existing items and creatures.

Overall: Official Ravenloft adventures that take their inspiration from real world mythology always seem to disappoint. And, if it wasn't for the Van Richten series of books on the undead, I think I would have given Ravenloft up as a campaign setting long ago. These books seem to pull in much more of the imagination juice and give oodles of plot lines that you are free to expand on. The Awakening, however, is a good adventure, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it immensely, especially if you're a cat lover. But, I'm afraid I'm going to be delving into Van Richten's Guide to the Ancient Dead for my Mummy ideas. [yen]

Review by Stig

Product supplied by TSR UK Ltd.

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