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Howls in the Night (2e)

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Watermarked PDF
$6.95
$4.99
Description:

The Mists of Ravenloft draw close, surrounding unfortunate travelers in their clammy embrace. When they part, they revel the land of Mordent, a domain of rolling moors and woods, beautiful by day and terrifying by night. The moors surround Westcote Manor, whose owner seeks your aid to break a curse that has beset his family. A new danger lurks in the haunted moors: hounds whose mournful howls and murderous jaws trap the townsfolk in their homes at night. At the heart of it all lies a curse laid a century ago, a tale of bitter tragedy.

Even now, you can hear the howls in the night.

"Howls in the Night" is a dark fantasy murder mystery - but one in which the victim has been dead for 100 years! Alternate adventure backgrounds allow the Dungeon Master to choose one of four possible conclusions.
 
The adventure is designed for 4 to 6 player characters, levels 3rd to 5th. 
 
*****
 
Product History

"Howls in the Night" (1994) is a 2nd edition AD&D Ravenloft adventure meant to evoke memories of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The adventure takes place in the domain of Mordent, a land of rolling moors and woods resembling Dartmoor in England. More importantly, at its heart the adventure is about a century-old curse and a tale of tragedy. It's a murder mystery, and one that avoids the traditional 2nd ed. AD&D railroading by providing four alternate adventure endings for the DM to select.

The Smell of Fear. This adventure emphasizes the importance of Fear and Horror checks during the adventure, meant to evoke believable reactions from the PCs. I always found this Ravenloft mechanic a little clunky, but it's easily skipped with good roleplayers and can be used entirely at the DM's discretion.

And frankly, I doubt it's much needed. The land of Mordent is an inherently creepy place with its blasted heath and stunted trees, where treacherous bogs suck down unsuspecting travelers. It models a dark fantasy version of western England, with small farms and taciturn locals. If you've ever seen the beginning of the original An American Werewolf in London, I suspect you know exactly what Mordent's moors should feel like.

One of the things I really enjoy about this adventure is that it's one of the few effective Ravenloft adventures that doesn't feature the heroes going head-to-head with the domain's dark lord. Good thing, too - considering how powerful the dark lords should be, such conflicts can strain credulity. Instead, the heroes work to uncover the fascinating truth behind an ancient murder whose effects echo on. It's less an epic adventure than a horror story. The terror comes from numerous small but significant things - a growl from the misty darkness behind you, a face rising from the swamp, a hatred that strikes out from beyond death, unclear motives suddenly and terribly revealed. These little things build on one another to result in a satisfying conclusion.

Choose Your Own Ending. I love that author Colin McComb addresses the common "railroading" complaint about story-heavy adventures by providing four different endings. The final combat still occurs, and the hound still makes its unavoidable appearance, but who it attacks and why depends entirely on the conclusion the DM has chosen; this stratagem allows the DM to customize the adventure to her own sensibilities and player group, and that's a fine thing. It's particularly important in a mystery-heavy story, where spoilers can greatly affect players' enjoyment of the game.

I won't discuss much of the actual adventure here, so as to avoid said spoilers, but suffice to say that it's a solid investigative mystery with plenty of horror and a root cause that will resonate. Old and bitter offenses die hard, it seems, and revenge (whether justified or not) is something that can inspire the land of Ravenloft to sit up and take notice. Let's hope it doesn't notice your heroes while they're busy unravelling this mystery as well.

About the Creators. Colin McComb is the creative lead on inXile's Kickstarted video game, the RPG Torment: Tides of Numenera, which uses Monte Cook's new sci-fi/fantasy game Numenera and follows in the creative vision of Planescape: Torment. The award-winning designer has written dozens of games and adventures for TSR and Paizo Publishing.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was 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
-
June 14th, 2014
A bland inoffensive adventure. Their is nothing bad about this adventure, but there is nothing good about it either. Any halfway decent DM should be able to create an adventure of equal caliber without that much effort. I usually try to find more to [...]
Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
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October 11th, 2013
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/10/11/tabletop-review-ravenloft-howls-in-the-night-advanced-dungeons-dragons-second-edition/ It’s October and what better time for DNDCLassics.com to FINALLY start re-releasing some more Ravenloft [...]
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December 3rd, 2003
It is a great book. I am happy I downloaded it and that I have it now. [...]
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
ISBN
1560769270
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9466
File Size:
13.58 MB
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Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
October 08, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on October 08, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating