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RM2 The Created (2e)

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"Beware what you wish, for it might come true" is an old Vistani saying. In the small town of Odiare, a toymaker has wished a puppet to life - only this puppet is not a friendly, playful toy. It is a thing of evil, bent upon killing all the adults of Odiare. When the player characters are trapped within this town, Maligno the puppet and his animated toys begin to hunt them down. The PCs' only chance for escape is to defeat the mad marionette.

Product History

RM2: The Created (1993) by Bruce Nesmith is an adventure for levels 2-4, set in the Ravenloft domain of Odiare. It makes for a fine introductory adventure to the campaign world of Ravenloft. If you're not using Ravenloft, then for it to be most effective, you'd want to run this adventure in a campaign world with a bit of fairy tale logic in it.

Riffing Off the Classics. For many of us, the story Pinnochio permeates our childhoods. We saw the Disney movie, we avoided that film with Roberto Benigni, and we hear references to it all the time. More than that, there's a long history of scary marionnette and puppet movies in popular media. Never mind Child's Play, do you remember the 1975 movie Trilogy of Terror, where in the third part an African tribal doll came alive to kill someone? I still think about those little scampering feet under the bed.

 
Marionettes and puppets be terrifying. They're really just small, cute, implacable golems that look like children, and which may be waiting to kill you as soon as you look away. You should probably be afraid.

That's what Nesmith was shooting for, at least, and in the hands of the right DM, I think he gets exceptionally close. He takes the original story of Pinnochio and gives it a particularly macabre twist. The PCs are faced with murder, disappearing townsfolk, and body-snatching. When they're ripped from their own bodies, trying to regain their own identities becomes a do-or-die proposition.

Pulling Strings. It's an unusual low-level D&D adventure that ponders such concepts as the importance of self, all the while taking players away from their comfort zones (and their characters' magic items!). The Created gets points for that alone. It also makes you think a bit about the nature of life, and of attachment to material things that you love but know are bad for you. Then you remind yourself that your character is being manipulated, you solve the mystery of how to return to your normal form, and you hit monsters with sharp, shiny swords until they relent. All in all? Very satisfying, very fun.

If you run this, either go very camp or very serious. A mixture of the two tones doesn't work as well as the extremes.

About the Creators. Bruce Nesmith is a designer at Bethesda Softworks and the senior designer / director of design on Fallout 3, as well as lead designer for Skyrim. Long before then, Nesmith worked at TSR on product lines such as Gamma World and Ravenloft. Reports are inconclusive as to whether he's still bothered by puppets.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product were written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to kevin.kulp@gmail.com.
 
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Reviews
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January 29th, 2014
This is a solid adventure with the opportunity for interesting interaction with the NPCs. The staging of the adventure is workable and it is different enough that players will be drawn in. But the tropes are familiar enough for players' expectations [...]
Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
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January 30th, 2013
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/01/30/tabletop-review-ravenloft-the-created-advanced-dungeons-dragons-second-edition/ So here we are again with another of the first electronic reprints from the Ravenloft campaign setting. First [...]
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Product Information
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Pages
50
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 11360
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16.27 MB
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File Last Updated:
January 22, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
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