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Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land (3.5)

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Description:

Zhentish soldiers, Maerimydran drow, and Sharran cultist have forged a dark alliance to subjugate the peaceful land of Shadowdale. Elmister's tower lies in ruins, Lord Amcathra governs at the sufferance of the dale's conquerors, and the very Weave of magic in this embattled land seems to fray with each passing day. The Zhentish yoke lies heavy over Shadowdale - but the Dalesfolk are ready to fight for their freedom, if only they can find true heroes to lead the way!
 
To drive the villains out of Shadowdale, the heroes must organize and lead a desperate revolt of Dalesfolk against their conquerors, as well as thwart the sinister designs of Shar’s servants and the Zhent garrison.
 
This Forgotten Realms campaign adventure is designed for characters of levels 9-13.
 
Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land is the second part of a three-part series of 160-page hardcover super-adventures set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, although it can be easily played as a stand-alone adventure. Each encounter contains tactical information for the Dungeon Master and expanded map features for ease of play. In addition to encounters, this book contains detailed source material on the town of Shadowdale and environs.
 
*****
 
Product History

Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land (2007) is a Forgotten Realms adventure for 3.5e D&D that advances four PCs from 9th to 12th level. This is the second adventure in a series that began with Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave, but can be easily played as a stand-alone adventure. (The trilogy ends with Anauroch: The Empire of Shade.) War rages across the Realms, Elminster is missing and his town is thrown down, and it's up to the heroes to overthrow Shadowdale's conquerors.

This is a companion adventure to the supplement Heroes of Battle and uses the victory-point rules included in that book to determine whether or not the heroes are successful in their rebellion. Heroes of Battle isn't required to run this adventure, for all the rules needed are summarized within, but it makes for a nice companion set of rules. D&D adventures set during an actual war are remarkably rare, and centering this adventure in a war-torn area that players have known and loved for decades was an inspired idea.

What Has Come Before. The events that began in Cormyr: the Tearing of the Weave, while hopefully thwarted by the heroes during that adventure, were far from isolated. A variety of foes have managed to tear the magical weave around Shadowdale. The chaos this fostered has created a nice opportunity for newcomers to the area to engineer an uprising against the would-be conquerors, and with Elminster defeated it gives a good reason for the infamously powerful NPCs in the Realms to have tasks of their own to deal with. During this adventure, the heroes will penetrate ruined fortresses, battle liches, raise an army of rebels, battle drow, harry supply trains, and lead an army of desperate countrymen into battle against their oppressors.

A linear dungeon with a 10' by 10' room holding an orc, this is not.

Varied Goals. One of the most refreshing aspects of this adventure is the varied strategic and tactical goals that the heroes need to achieve in order to save the day. There are fun, varying dungeons to plunder; citizen morale to raise; a major battle to plan and win; and a variety of investigative and tactical decisions to make. The adventure would be worth it for that alone, but the authors include an interesting and riveting plot to accompany the well-designed adventures.

This is an adventure I'd recommend even if you don't set your campaign in the Forgotten Realms. You'll have to hack out and replace a lot of surface detail, but the underlying adventure structure, along with the battle mechanics, are too good to lose.

About the Creators. Richard Baker is an author and senior designer whose work includes Red Hand of Doom, Complete Arcane, and the novel Condemnation.
 
Eric L. Boyd is a long-time Forgotten Realms fan whose work includes Power of Faerun and City of Splendors: Waterdeep.
 
Thomas M. Reid is a designer and author who's been brand manager for D&D and director of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game line. He wrote the Scions of Arrabar trilogy, the Forgotten Realms novel Insurrection, and books such as Shining South.

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
Pages
161
ISBN
978-0786940394
Publisher Stock #
955697200
File Size:
34.94 MB
Format
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
September 21, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on August 13, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating