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Retribution $7.99
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Retribution
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Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by William M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2013 17:20:06
This is the best 1st Level adventure module I have ever read, period. The writing is clear and understandable, the layout is top-notch and attention is paid to really make this module a pleasure to run at the table. It is not a quick skim and go kind of adventure though. Gamemasters will want to read it fully and get familiar with the cast of NPCs and the location itself to make it come to life, but it is effort well spent. It mixes atmosphere, roleplaying and combat beautifully. Raging Swan Press once again impresses the hell out of me!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you so much for this review. I'm very glad you liked the module so much and I hope your players enjoyed it as much as you!
Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by aaron b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2012 15:55:26
I've been playing RPG's for many years now and I have always been dubious of written adventures/modules as they for most part are terribly written and incredibly cliched.

So, when I decided to start playing Pathfinder I thought it might be a good idea to purchase an adventure to see if they have improved. I picked this particular one for two reasons. Firstly, it wasn't a mainstream publisher and secondly the rave reviews.

Upon receiving this in the post I opened with great trepidation but was incredibly impressed. The quality of the writing as well as the technical detail which the author has paid is superb. Much of the tedious tasks such as travelling times etc are worked out and this leaves oddles of time to deliver the module with the energy and feeling it deserves.

I am on the cusp of the running this for my gaming group and I am excited about how it will pan out.

This for me has restored faith in publishers and 3rd party material. I also have Tribes 1 and 2 as well as Scions of Evil by this publisher. They are all incredibly well written works which I would recommend to any GM.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by eric o. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2012 14:34:07
I purchased Retribution looking for a good low-level adventure that could be easily transferred to another campaign setting (in my case a homebrew or possibly Greyhawk). I'd read the very positive reviews and some of the material the author had published online on the Greyhawk setting. I liked the author's writing style, so I had high hopes for Retribution. I was not disappointed.

Overview: Retribution is an adventure for 1st level characters. While designed for the Pathfinder Role Playing system, it's easily converted to any OGL/old school system and wouldn't take much tinkering to modify for Savage Worlds. The adventure has the players visiting a long neglected Priory at the height of winter. The players will be trapped with the few remaining priests as an old evil rises to avenge actions taken decades ago. Cut off by the fierce weather, the players will have to confront the evil and try to save the Priory. The adventure is set is in the publisher's Lonely Coast but is easy to place just about anywhere.

Appearance: 4 ½ out of 5 stars: The book comes with a solid black cover - no exterior art. I wasn't bothered by the lack of cover art, which likely kept down some of the production cost, making the adventure more affordable. The black cover and binding makes the product more distinctive and doesn't detract from the adventure. My preference is for the art budget to be invested in interior art and maps. Interior art was good and evocative with head and shoulder renderings of all the major NPCs. The character art ranges from good to very good. The maps had an old school feel and were clear. The map key was a little different from what I'm used to but was still effective. My only real complaint is that the character/npc art was not collected in one place (repeated on one of the blank pages at the end) for easy copying, so it could be handed to the players. Seeing the art would help the players visualize the NPCs.

Writing Style: 5 of 5 stars: Very clear and evocative writing throughout. The book has an easy and well organized flow which prevented jumping around the book. It has a very good wrap up of the encounters, experience awards, and likely treasure/awards at the end of each section. Stat blocks were complete with tactics provided in the encounter text, not the stat block. There were no typos or omissions that I could see.

The Adventure: 5 of 5 stars: Without giving away spoilers, Retribution provides an excellent first level adventure that carefully treads the line between being too easy or unnecessarily deadly and unforgiving. It's also a good mix of role playing and combat. The party's actions and the relationships they form with the npc's will make a difference later in the adventure. Combats are well spaced to give a careful party time to heal. There's also a chance to gain allies and access to additional healings through quick action and good diplomacy. The adventure location (Priory) is thoroughly described and easy to imagine. Little touches like advice on how to handle characters that stray from the main mission are sprinkled throughout the book. There's also a clear timeline that builds on the suspense and impending doom without being too heavy handed. The adventure could take 2-3 sessions depending on the amount of role playing.

Utility: 5 of 5 stars: While the adventure is clearly placed in the Lonely Coast (free setting download on Raging Swan's site), it could easily be picked up and dropped into any campaign setting. Depending on how the adventure ends, the Priory provides a good base of operations for low level characters on the border of unexplored territory perfect for adventuring. The adventure is easy to run. I read through it in one sitting and felt confident enough to run it with just the one read through. Finally, the publisher offers free pdfs for the purchase of hard copy books. This is not the free pdf of the book you bought; it's free pdfs of your choice from the publisher's catalog up to the cost of the hard copy book. I think this is unique for Raging Swan and helped push me to purchase the adventure. I ended up requesting an additional adventure and the village of Swallowfield (closest village to the adventure) as my free pdfs.

Bottom Line: One of the best entry level adventures I've read in 25+ years. Good mix of role playing and combat that forces the players to think, not just react. Clever and logical use of some classic low level monsters. Strongly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/14/2010 04:40:10
Retribution:
Retribution is a 71 pg pdf, 1 front cover, 1 blank page (inside the front cover), 3 pages credits, half a page OGL, 1page ads and 1 page back cover.
Retribution is extensively bookmarked for ease of reference; all the statblocks also have flavor-text describing the monsters/enemies as well as summaries of the obtainable treasure at the end of each part, making the adventure very easy and comfortable on the DM.
The adventure starts off with the obligatory 3 pages of introduction, synopsis of the adventure, background and a map of the Lonely Coast, the region in which Retribution is set.
Part I: Sanctuary (8 pages) – Retribution starts off with a journey through a snow/sleet storm towards the Priory of Cymer that perfectly captures a foreboding, gritty and harsh atmosphere of the adventure and sets the mood for the rest: The tone is one of an old, uncaring world that is not too far from the past of our own in terms of the dangers of traveling. The 2 encounters on the road are very good examples for the fact that environment, circumstances and the like may make for very interesting encounters, even on first level. There are also some hooks suggested to start the adventure, one of which assumes that some of the PCs are sick and go to Cymer to get healed. That’s an unconventional hook that actually worked very well for my group and further set the gritty mood– Excellent idea. The wilderness-journey part of the adventure ends when the PCs arrive at the Priory of Cymer.
Part II: Signs (31 pages) - The next part of Retribution is a roleplaying-heavy/investigation-section, something I’d love to see more often, especially due to the fact that the atmosphere is constantly building up. From the beginning and the introduction of the NPCs, the first thing that springs to mind as an analogue to the atmosphere is Name of the Rose. The atmosphere is simply superb and one of the most dreaded role-playing encounters, the dinner with several NPCs, has been presented in a way that makes the conversations flow naturally and with ease as several sentences and talks are presented for the DM. Furthermore, the text is interspersed with troubleshooting advice, columns on the reaction of NPCs to some of the ominous happenings in the next couple of days and ends in an exciting series of encounters that serves to further underline the established gritty and ominous atmosphere. The climax sees the PCs undertake a kind of skill-challenge and roleplay their way past a potentially dangerous being.
When first reading the whole of part 2, I thought: Hell yeah! That’s how a role-playing adventure should be.
Part III: Darkness (12 pages) – The final part of Retribution is a descent into darkness, both physically into a dungeon and symbolic, into the tarnished soul of the primary antagonist: It includes a chasm and a tidal surge, mirroring the emotions of the antagonist in the obstacles and enemies the PCs will have to face until they reach a furious showdown and triumph in battle, slaying the villain. No, wait. They can actually talk sense into the villain in the final confrontation, save his soul and solve the encounter by role-playing instead of roll-playing! In my humble opinion, a showdown of a diplomatic skill-challenge, a heated discussion can evoke even more suspense than a frenetic battle (Plus, the PCs had enough of that already!). Thus ends the adventure section of Retribution with all the NPC-destinies results of the PCs blunders or victories.
We also get a 5 pages appendix on the Priory of Cymer in excruciating detail, going so far to even provide a short list of the books in the library.
The second appendix is 8 pages long and focuses on the folk of Cymer, presented in the detailed manner we’ve come to expect of Raging Swan Press: That means they all have their own b/w character portrait, own distinct mannerisms and distinguishing features that help the DM to make them memorable. Each of them comes with an additional hook to draw the PCs into the adventure, centered on the NPC, making the adventure easier to individualize to your PCs.
The pdf closes with appendix 3 and new rule items (4 pages), to be precise the half-goblin race, a new magic item (the Blessed Aspergillum, which has its own picture and even a whole print-out page in the look-see art web-enhancement) and information about the 2 default gods used in the adventure as well as a sect.
As always with Raging Swan products, you can download several free web-enhancements on their homepage:
- One contains 4 pregen-characters
- One has the collated statblocks: The pages are organized by creature/faction type, 9 pages long
- Advice on scaling the adventure: 1 page
- Look-see art has all the art from the adventure, easy to print out and show to your players: 14 pages
- The last enhancement, Nemesis, has 4 statblocks to make the villain level with the players and reuse him for future adventures.(lvl 3, 7, 12, 18)
- The whole, free Lonely Coast pdf can be considered a huge additional web-enhancement for Retribution.

Conclusion:
The quality of the editing is top-notch, I didn’t find any typos or glitches. The adventure has wilderness, investigation and dungeon, action and role-playing, does not shoehorn or railroad the player’s actions (as far as that is possible in a non-sandbox-module), is extremely easy on the DM and features the evocative, very atmospheric fluff I loved in the free supplement The Lonely Coast. Due to the multilayered characters (that actually deserve the moniker and go beyond being one-dimensional encounters/foils for the PCs), the attention to detail and the symbolism of the adventure, Retribution not only manages to slowly build up tension, but continuously ups the ante on the mysterious happenings and locations until the finale. The diplomatic skill-challenges that encourage the use of more than one skill in role-playing as well as the fact that the adventure dares to not solely rely on “Kill-it-with-fire”-tactics is another major Plus.

Retribution ranks among the best first level adventures I’ve ever read. It’s not over the top, it’s personal. And it’s better off for it. Check it out. It’s vastly superior to almost any first level adventure I’ve read for PFRPG.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/14/2010 04:40:10
Retribution:
Retribution is a 71 pg pdf, 1 front cover, 1 blank page (inside the front cover), 3 pages credits, half a page OGL, 1page ads and 1 page back cover.
Retribution is extensively bookmarked for ease of reference; all the statblocks also have flavor-text describing the monsters/enemies as well as summaries of the obtainable treasure at the end of each part, making the adventure very easy and comfortable on the DM.
The adventure starts off with the obligatory 3 pages of introduction, synopsis of the adventure, background and a map of the Lonely Coast, the region in which Retribution is set.
Part I: Sanctuary (8 pages) – Retribution starts off with a journey through a snow/sleet storm towards the Priory of Cymer that perfectly captures a foreboding, gritty and harsh atmosphere of the adventure and sets the mood for the rest: The tone is one of an old, uncaring world that is not too far from the past of our own in terms of the dangers of traveling. The 2 encounters on the road are very good examples for the fact that environment, circumstances and the like may make for very interesting encounters, even on first level. There are also some hooks suggested to start the adventure, one of which assumes that some of the PCs are sick and go to Cymer to get healed. That’s an unconventional hook that actually worked very well for my group and further set the gritty mood– Excellent idea. The wilderness-journey part of the adventure ends when the PCs arrive at the Priory of Cymer.
Part II: Signs (31 pages) - The next part of Retribution is a roleplaying-heavy/investigation-section, something I’d love to see more often, especially due to the fact that the atmosphere is constantly building up. From the beginning and the introduction of the NPCs, the first thing that springs to mind as an analogue to the atmosphere is Name of the Rose. The atmosphere is simply superb and one of the most dreaded role-playing encounters, the dinner with several NPCs, has been presented in a way that makes the conversations flow naturally and with ease as several sentences and talks are presented for the DM. Furthermore, the text is interspersed with troubleshooting advice, columns on the reaction of NPCs to some of the ominous happenings in the next couple of days and ends in an exciting series of encounters that serves to further underline the established gritty and ominous atmosphere. The climax sees the PCs undertake a kind of skill-challenge and roleplay their way past a potentially dangerous being.
When first reading the whole of part 2, I thought: Hell yeah! That’s how a role-playing adventure should be.
Part III: Darkness (12 pages) – The final part of Retribution is a descent into darkness, both physically into a dungeon and symbolic, into the tarnished soul of the primary antagonist: It includes a chasm and a tidal surge, mirroring the emotions of the antagonist in the obstacles and enemies the PCs will have to face until they reach a furious showdown and triumph in battle, slaying the villain. No, wait. They can actually talk sense into the villain in the final confrontation, save his soul and solve the encounter by role-playing instead of roll-playing! In my humble opinion, a showdown of a diplomatic skill-challenge, a heated discussion can evoke even more suspense than a frenetic battle (Plus, the PCs had enough of that already!). Thus ends the adventure section of Retribution with all the NPC-destinies results of the PCs blunders or victories.
We also get a 5 pages appendix on the Priory of Cymer in excruciating detail, going so far to even provide a short list of the books in the library.
The second appendix is 8 pages long and focuses on the folk of Cymer, presented in the detailed manner we’ve come to expect of Raging Swan Press: That means they all have their own b/w character portrait, own distinct mannerisms and distinguishing features that help the DM to make them memorable. Each of them comes with an additional hook to draw the PCs into the adventure, centered on the NPC, making the adventure easier to individualize to your PCs.
The pdf closes with appendix 3 and new rule items (4 pages), to be precise the half-goblin race, a new magic item (the Blessed Aspergillum, which has its own picture and even a whole print-out page in the look-see art web-enhancement) and information about the 2 default gods used in the adventure as well as a sect.
As always with Raging Swan products, you can download several free web-enhancements on their homepage:
- One contains 4 pregen-characters
- One has the collated statblocks: The pages are organized by creature/faction type, 9 pages long
- Advice on scaling the adventure: 1 page
- Look-see art has all the art from the adventure, easy to print out and show to your players: 14 pages
- The last enhancement, Nemesis, has 4 statblocks to make the villain level with the players and reuse him for future adventures.(lvl 3, 7, 12, 18)
- The whole, free Lonely Coast pdf can be considered a huge additional web-enhancement for Retribution.

Conclusion:
The quality of the editing is top-notch, I didn’t find any typos or glitches. The adventure has wilderness, investigation and dungeon, action and role-playing, does not shoehorn or railroad the player’s actions (as far as that is possible in a non-sandbox-module), is extremely easy on the DM and features the evocative, very atmospheric fluff I loved in the free supplement The Lonely Coast. Due to the multilayered characters (that actually deserve the moniker and go beyond being one-dimensional encounters/foils for the PCs), the attention to detail and the symbolism of the adventure, Retribution not only manages to slowly build up tension, but continuously ups the ante on the mysterious happenings and locations until the finale. The diplomatic skill-challenges that encourage the use of more than one skill in role-playing as well as the fact that the adventure dares to not solely rely on “Kill-it-with-fire”-tactics is another major Plus.

Retribution ranks among the best first level adventures I’ve ever read. It’s not over the top, it’s personal. And it’s better off for it. Check it out. It’s vastly superior to almost any first level adventure I’ve read for PFRPG.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Retribution
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/02/2010 12:15:54
This adventure is a well-constructed tale of revenge, set in a situation that embroils everyone else whether they are interested or not. While the scene is richly-set and described in great detail, the outside world is not, making this scenario ideal for dropping into a suitable location in your own campaign world if you are not using the default Lonely Coast setting.

The adventure is divided into three parts. In the first, the characters - for whatever reason (some possible ones are suggested) - make their way through worsening weather to the isolated Priory of Cymer, fending off encounters and and the worst the weather can throw at them alike. Once there, it's clear that the weather and isolated location means not only must they stay until the storm abates but they are very much alone - just them and the people already within the Priory. The effects of bad weather are detailed clearly, and used to good effect both mechanically and to enhance encounters along the way.

The second part of the adventure is used to set the scene within the Priory and to ratchet up the tension as the raging storm outside is mirrored within. This is the part where those players most interested in role-playing and character interaction will get a chance to shine, while the other two sections give plenty of opportunity for sword-arms and spellbooks to be exercised. Several encounters are laid out for you to use during the characters' first three days at the Priory: the main action may be character interaction but you are not left to 'wing' everything, although plenty of detail about the attitudes and motivations of the NPCs is provided should you be comfortable with free-form interactions. There's plenty going on, with several odd if not disquieting things having happened before the party's arrival (hence rumours and possibilities of investigation if they so desire) as well as the events set for this period. This segment culminates in a good brawl as the Priory is attacked. Throughout, opponents' tactics are clearly laid out, making it easy to run each combat. Timings are important, and alternate situations are provided based on exactly when the characters reach each location: a nice touch that enhances reality - events continue whether or not the characters happen to be around. This leads neatly into the final part which leads the characters into the crypts under the Priory and below to the climatic battle.

Throughout, the attention to detail provides the GM with plenty to draw upon when running the adventure especially as much is perforce free-form in that characters can roam around the priory as they please. NPCs are well-described and are rounded - if, in one case, perverted - characters in their own right independent of their place within this adventure. There's scope for continuation as well, should the characters wish to remain associated with the priory once the adventure is ended. A good, well-written and competent low-level adventure to see a campaign off to a good start, or provide a coherent one-off if preferred.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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