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A09: Rogue Wizard $8.99 $5.99
Publisher: Adventureaweek.com, LLP
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2012 13:57:52
This adventure is 52 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial (featuring a beautiful side-view overview map of the dungeon), 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 48 pages of content, so let's check this one out!

This being an adventure-module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! Setzer Salthazar, rogue Klavekian wizard and murderer has been off the radar for years - hiding in Vikmordere territory. he's not been idle. Hired by sage Yuri Stael to track down and bring the madman to justice the PCs travel from Rybalka to the jagged cliffs, where, once they've braced deadly Razorvine and undead guardian ogres, they'll enter Setzer's weird wizard tower, topped by a rather strange organic thing. The tower comes with a BEAUTIFUL full color map where they'll be attacked by a bear rug taxidermy swarm. Floating, organic eyeballs start watching the PCs and by now they should now that they're in for a disturbing experience indeed. The restless spirit of the tower's cook, the torture room and its sentinels and vrocks should further enhance the PC's sense of brute force horror and estrangement.

In the next room, we get a rather cool graphic puzzle - a vast room with pillars standing from the water. A selection of planks is provided and the PCs are supposed to create the path across the room in order to avoid the electric eels in the water below. A reason why they can't just fly over the planks would have been nice, though. In the mad wizard's cellar, the PCs can get treasures if they brave 8 riddles. In the dungeon, though, true horror awaits - a bone-grinding machine and a room covered in the new bone-dust hazard, which is essentially testament to Setzer's genocidal aspirations.

Now, if you think the upper floors are any less deadly and disturbing, you'd be dead wrong - from a gibbering mouther to a flooding room trap, Setzer has some deadly surprises in store. Especially the latter is interesting, in that it can only be disarmed by the PCs correctly deciphering the sequence of 4 Maya-style glyphs. Oh, and being wet is rather problematic in the Rybalkan climate! Worse, while they can save an Aasimar who, when provided with some levels, might be used to replace a PC who might have died, and die they might: There's e.g. a room with zero-gravity (and a battle as well as concise rules for this environment) and a deadly room in which the PCs will have to scuttle to prevent fuses from blowing up barrels of gunpowder.

And the deadly part has not yet begun: Well hidden, the highest levels are guarded by a flesh golem amalgam of tortured souls, a black pudding knight and then, the PCs enter NITNAM. The strange, heart-like, demonic flying colossus at the top of the tower, which is now fused with Setzer's lifeforce. The final battle against Setzer and NINTAM's hearts is a fittingly climactic boss battle after the weird and strange tower, though fighting while NINTAM is airborne and granting it some additional means to hinder/attack the PCs would have made it even better.
The pdf closes with 3.5 and PFRPG-stats for the adversaries herein (the fleshgolem missing its unique ability in the statblocks, though) and 2 new spells developed by Setzer, his "Storms of sculpted Flesh", and comes with a one-page handout, where you can print out the planks from aforementioned puzzle.

Conclusion:
editing and fromatting are very good, I only noticed a very minor glitch that has no central bearing on anyone's enjoyment of the pdf. Layout adheres to Adventureaweek.com's 2-column parchment-style standard and the cartography, as I've come to expect, is awesome. The artwork is ok for the price and manages to convey some of the disturbing tones of the book. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, with herolab support and also a printer-friendly version without backgrounds, but still in color.

This adventure is a straight wizard's tower crawl and PCs should expect to walk a gauntlet indeed - even Alchemist's Errand pales in comparison to what the mad mage Setzer has in store - disjointed, disturbing and deadly and the three "d"s that characterize best what to expect from this very dark module. And I LOVE it. The quicksand-style trap and the grinders. The bombs. The floating eyes and the final battle - all very cool. Though I maintain that making the final battle 0-gravity will make the module even better. With the rules provided, any DM can do so! This module provides an old-school, deadly romp including clever puzzles and traps and is spiced up with disturbing madness and biomancy and a memorable showdown indeed. All in all: A great module, the most original and coolest of the line so far, nothing to complain. Final verdict: 5 stars and Endzeitgeist seal of approval. fans of e.g. Tim Hitchcock or Nicolas Logue or e.g. "War of the Burning Sky's" biomancy might want to check this out - the module should be right up your alley. And if you want to make Setzer even more memorable, check out Rite Publishing's #30 Fleshgrafts and add them to Setzer's arsenal.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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A09: Rogue Wizard
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