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DD1 Barrow of the Forgotten King (3.5)

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Who Disturbs the Slumber of the Forgotten King?
 
Wolves prowl the graveyard of sleepy Kingsholm, and death lurks behind shadowed tombstones. Something has disturbed the sleepers in the mausoleum, and brave adventurers are needed to explore the catacombs beneath the graves and discover what evil stirs in the darkling depths.
 
"Barrow of the Forgotten King" is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for 2nd-level characters. It can be played as a stand-alone adventure or as the first adventure in a three-part series. Each encounter contains special tactical information for the Dungeon Master and expanded map features for ease of play.
 
For use with these Dungeons & Dragons core books: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual.
 
*****
 
Product History

DD1: "Barrow of the Forgotten King" (2007), by Ed Stark, is a 3.5 edition D&D adventure for 2nd-level characters. The adventure features extensive tactical maps and works well with miniatures. This is an extensive, fun dungeon adventure that also includes a moderate amount of investigation and roleplaying. The focus is on combat and traps, however, pitting the players against tomb dwellers, tomb robbers, and the ancient architects of the labyrinth itself. By the time they finish, the heroes will likely be 4th or 5th level.

First-Rate Dungeon Crawl. The dungeon layout and floor plan is well thought out, with multiple levels of obstacles and verticality combined with a fun puzzle that is going to make the players think. The complex has a consistent logic to it; while people might (and maybe should) throw dice at me for using the word "verisimilitude" to describe a dungeon layout, you can picture this complex being built by loyal followers wishing to honor their fallen king. It's atmospheric and interesting.

Most dungeon crawls are linear by design, and this one is no exception; the outcome of encounters will affect how the heroes do, and the players' cleverness will have a substantial effect on the final few encounters. However, the dungeon itself doesn't branch appreciably. This makes it a good choice for newer players and those who are getting their feet under their new characters. Auther Ed Stark compensates for this linearity with a wide variety of encounters and challenges.

That's not to say the adventure isn't challenging, though; like many adventures from Wizards that are balanced for fully optimized characters, this adventure has some combat encounters for which you'll want to be paying attention.

A Legacy of Magic. This adventure introduces "legacy weapons" into 3.5 D&D, magical weapons that grow in power with the person wielding them. While I have a few quibbles about how these are implemented, I think the core idea is fantastic; having an item that grows in power with the hero is consistent with any number of fantasy stories, and it's good to see here.

This adventure is the first of three, and you may want to do some tweaking to the ending if you aren't planning on running the entire trilogy. "Barrow" does a fine job of setting up the legacy of villains whom the heroes will be chasing, but the adventure ends with far less of a bang if you're not planning on an immediate follow-up. This is a case where a little advance preparation and customization will provide big benefits at the end of the adventure.

Solid and Fun. It's good to see smart adventures from Wizards, and this is one of them: canny bad guys, interesting environments, and puzzles that can't be solved with a simple die roll. "Barrow of the Forgotten King" is a fine 2nd-level adventure.

About the Creators. Ed Stark is currently a content developer at Zenimax Online, working on the Elder Scrolls Online MMO; he has recently worked on the Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online MMORPG for THQ. He started his career in 1990 at West End Games before moving to TSR in 1995 as Lead Designer for the Birthright campaign setting. Ed has published over 100 game-related books, novels, short stories, and comics.

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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Product Information
Copper seller
Author(s)
Pages
67
ISBN
978-0786943180
Publisher Stock #
959767400
File Size:
17.94 MB
Format
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
November 10, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on July 30, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating