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Blood Moon Rising $4.95
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Blood Moon Rising
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Blood Moon Rising
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by PAMPA P. A. J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2011 14:24:28
Excellent introductory adventure for characters 1 to 3rd level. A bit of wilderness, a small dungeons, lots of NPCs. There's nothing really original but it's a nice way to start a campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Moon Rising
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2011 19:05:36
When I sat down down to read Blood Moon Rising, I wasn't really in the mood to read anything. I mention this, because within a few pages, Mr. Spahn had sucked me in and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. A singular accomplishment, as I'm very stubborn when it comes to being in a funk! But, as I read our author's depiction of the details of the Feast of St. Garan, its history, present day circumstances and current timeline, The DM was enticed to ignore his bad mood and get down to business! So, I quickly found myself dealing with a module that was both fun to read and got my DM juices flowing. That puts Blood Moon Rising into the recommend category, right there!

The action takes place in the village of Garanton and its surrounding area. It's the Feast of St. Garan, a five-day festival in honor of a local hero. Travelers, entertainers, vendors and all sorts of folk attend the Festival, including Fighters, seeking the blessing of the Saint. Of course, things aren't all as they seem and past events are coming back to haunt the happy little village and it's festival.

The module opens with the backstory and history of St. Garan, then gives an overview of the village and the area where the action will unfold. From there, the module gives a Timeline of the Festival. Both the planned festivities, like Parades and Honor Games, as well as other events, like murder and slaughtered cows. There's quite a bit going on, with plenty to see, do and experience. The five-day festival is quite eventful and I've barely scratched the surface, so as not to give away the whole module. True to Old School philosophy, the module presents the NPC's, events, locations and situations simply as they are, leaving it up to the Players to decide what to do about it!

There are also some random encounters and events for the Labyrinth Lord to throw in, as he sees fit. From there, encounters and adventuring sites outside the village are detailed and the characters may soon find themselves local heroes, or soon-to-be forgotten victims of the horrors which lay behind the history of St. Garan and his Feast. This is followed by a section on major NPC's and groups, such as a rival adventuring party which might be used to cause the PC's some consternation. Lastly, an appendix with new magic items and monsters, completes the module.

Blood Moon Rising packs a lot of detail into its 32 pages (34 with the covers) and the Labyrinth Lord will find everything he needs to bring The Festival to life and keep his players busy and entertained! From competing in the Honor Games, to forging friendships or rivalries. They'll probably find themselves sucked into what's going on behind the scenes, possibly unraveling forgotten secrets and putting an end to an ancient evil. There are a lot of little events and details, that can come into play, helping to bring the village, festival and NPC's to life.

Details on the village itself are kind of sparse and some of the locations on the area map aren't precisely indicated. The DM automatically filled in these details as he read, but someone new to running a game might fret a little. A time or two, an event or NPC were introduced in such a way as to raise some questions, until they were returned to and fully explicated in another section.

The text is two-column, clear and legible and an easy, well flowing read. I noticed no typos. The maps and interior art are a little smudgy, an artifact, I presume, of the software used to make the PDF.

The module advertises that it's a mix of Urban, Wilderness and Dungeon encounters, but I should probably mention that the Dungeons are two small areas, so don't expect a Dungeon Crawl.

Blood Moon Rising provides a well orchestrated Event for your PC's to attend and one which they should find quite memorable. It would serve as a great campaign kick-off, for a larger party at least. One encounter in particular will be rather hairy for 1st level characters.

Kudos to Mr. Spahn, for a well-made, thoroughly enjoyable adventure!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Moon Rising
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/09/2010 00:56:25
Blood Moon Rising is the first adventure for Labyrinth Lord by Small Niche Games. I'm going to be approaching this from a little different tack: I don't play Labyrinth Lord or D&D or any of the retroclones. However, I do likes me some adventures, and good ideas can be stolen for other games.

***WARNING***

I try to go light in spoilers...BUT...it is impossible for me to leave them out completely. If you are going to be playing in this, do yourself a favor and go away.


Seriously.

***END WARNING***

Blood Moon Rising is set up as a "sandbox"/timeline type adventure for 3-6 characters of 1-3 level. Basically, the book gives you a town with NPCs and a backstory, and the timeline of events that will occur during their big festival celebrating an ancient warrior that they all revere.

From there, the PCs interact with whatever they will, until the whole thing is resolved. The action rises, as action tends to do, until the PCs should find it virtually impossible not to realize that something isn't right (in fact, there is a very nice hook on Day One to draw them deeper into events unless they are completely self absorbed).

I love adventures that give you freedom, and this one does from the beginning, not even making any assumptions about the reason the PCs are in the town, just giving you some excuses if you need the help.

The background section gives you the backstory of the village, which has mutated considerably until it has become a very...inaccurate...local legend.

The village of Garanton is pretty small, about 200 people, and utterly normal for the most part...except for the interesting little spring on the edge of town with strange healing properties...until the New Moon...then I wouldn't want to bathe in it.

The Feast of St. Garan is a five day festival celebrating this great warrior that liberated the land, and is presented in the book as a series of events in the manner and order that they will occur, should the PCs not interfere.

The fifth night of the festival is the Blood Moon, hence the name of the module.

We are first presented with the normal order of events, followed by the major events from each day. Warrior types can compete in the Honor Games over the five day period, with the possibility of a title and a sweet, sweet magic item out of the deal. There is also the possibility of Honor Duels, which can be fought using non-lethal damage, to first blood or to the death, if a heated issue spirals out of control.

On Day One, the first Honor Game is held, which is a simple test of strength...but characters can discover some helpful clues about the true nature of the festival from the rocks.

A potential hook is also set in which a local artist asks the PCs to pose for a portrait...but he's fated to go missing overnight.

Day Two likely starts with news of a local farmer's cows being slaughtered and the PCs missing their appointment with the artist, because he's gone missing.

Day two also provides a Test of Nerve in the Honor Game, which has the potential to set the PCs on a collision course with an orc tribe that has become drawn to the area. Overnight, the a farmhouse is attacked by creepy demons (who killed the cattle the night before), further escalating tensions and making the mood somber.

The Day Three Test of Steed can provide slight financial benefit for a participant, but no plot-worthy extras like the first two days.

Day three also ratchets up the tension with the first human casualties, at least one of which is not what it seems.

Day four provides the opportunity for the PCs to uncover the truth about one of the attacks, as well as a possible battle that can turn them into instant heroes. However, the growing darkness over the events are driving people away now, before the end of the festival.

Finally, on Day Five, the Honor Games will conclude and - that night - a nasty group of demons attack the village. If the PCs have stuck around, they have a chance of driving off the demons...if not, the village is slaughtered.

It sounds simple enough, but there's plenty of action and excitement for a rookie party over a few sessions.

Twenty random encounters are also present, which include large, drunken women hitting on the PCs and not taking "No" for an answer, a young warrior being hazed, a fan club for one of the PCs, the possibility of scoring a very special mount and more.

Another series of encounters are present for those leaving the village, including the possibility of investigating the Tomb of St. Garan (and finding the good "saint" to be a sealed away undead Wight), as well as precisely what can happen if the PCs venture to the Demon Gate that is releasing the night demons on the village, and lays seeds for continuing adventures with much more powerful beasties trying to break through the gate (for when the PCs are higher level, of course).

The final resolution of the adventure is up the PCs, depending on what they did and how much exploration they indulged in, as they could uncover the truth about the area's history (effectively ending the annual festival), inadvertantly unleash an undead plague on the land to go with the demonic one, and allow an infernal beacon to draw all manner of evil to the area (if they don't destroy the Demon Gate).

All of the important (and semi-important) NPCs are given stats and summaries, and an appendix provided adds in a new spell (Lesser Charm Monster), as well as a pair of magic items (the Mantle and Sword of St. Garan) and two new monsters (the Night Demons and Demon Grubs).

My thoughts?

I will never run this as written...because AD&D/Labyrinth Lord/OSRIC/etc do not appeal to me.

HOWEVER...I would absolutely convert this to Savage Worlds or High Valor and use it as a potential launching point for a new campaign. For $4.95 you not only get a good sandbox adventure, you get a potential "home base" for PCs with a couple of plot hooks that could spawn into minicampaigns (or full blown epic conflicts in the case of the Demon Gate and what it's holding back) down the line.

Very cool stuff, and worth it even factoring in the necessary conversion work I'd have to do (not that High Valor or Savage Worlds would require a ton of work).

Great stuff...better than most of the modules I remember getting back in the day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Moon Rising
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/18/2010 22:46:16
Highly recommended. BMR is a "timelline" adventure, in which events will proceed during a village festival. The PCs must intervene before the climax. While the obligatory Fight at the End doesn't stand out, I was particularly impressed the village festival and colorful encounters therein. The adventure also goes into detail the history behind the festival itself. You can easily separate the festival portion of the adventure from the rest, and drop it into your own campaign. Great job!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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