Saturday 28 August 2021

Twilight of the Solstice

Twilight of the Solstice is a level 4 adventure written by Marc Bruner. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Cliff Kurowski, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

This was the fourth yuletide and the sixth holiday module put out by Goodman Games. The adventure is about as epic as you can get, with the fate of the entire universe in the balance. The opponents are more than tough enough, and incautious players are going to get creamed.

This is the adventure that introduced the "scratch off" character sheet, and the idea is used well herein. One notes that the idea that players do not have access to their PCs' abilities immediately - but get them over time - makes this far more suitable for one shot and convention play than for use in an ongoing campaign. The pdf version does include the means to simulate scratch-off character sheets.

I like to consider how an adventure can be used as part of an ongoing campaign though, or woven into the larger tapestry of your play experience.

The first thing to note is that the time travel that the PCs experience doesn't necessarily affect the rest of the universe. The PCs (should they fail) might find themselves at the end of time, but the rest of the campaign milieu will not be affected immediately. Or, should I say, the immediate effect is not the end of the campaign milieu. Certainly, effects should leak back through time to confront whatever current PCs share the setting.

A judge could run this as a one-shot when the party reaches 4th level, using the PCs provided (either the actual scratch-offs or their simulacra). If the one-shot PCs survive, they become alternates in the case of PC death. If they fail, the adventure forms a kind of "cut scene" showing how this new problem came to arise...and the wily judge can create a new adventure to give the players a chance to repair the damage, perhaps at 8th level....

There is also a chance that the one-shot PCs end up in a different era, in which case the judge can use this opportunity to run the occasion adventure that teaches history and sets up what the regular PCs must deal with. It is possible that an elf could survive from an earlier era, as Elrond remembers being at the Last Alliance between men and elves which defeated Sauron at the end of the Third Age. In this case, a former-one-shot-PC elf might become a recurrent NPC. Being originally from the PCs' future, he may even hint at some knowledge of their potential destinies....

An Endzeitgeist review of this adventure can be found here.

A conflict at the end of time! On the eve of the winter solstice, long-banished giants from the frozen void strive to complete a ceremony that will cause an endless winter to envelope the world. The adventurers find themselves torn from existence, stripped of not only their equipment, but their very memories, and summoned to the far edge of the world to repair an ancient temple of time. Will you recover your abilities and solve the challenges of the world clock before the end of time itself?

An exploration-based adventure taking the characters deep into the icy depths of unknown, Twilight of the Solstice tests the player’s ability to confront the challenges of the harsh winter setting while also unraveling the singular puzzle of their own identity. Faced with limited knowledge and time, only the most crafty - and lucky - can hope to defeat the returned agents of primeval chaos and restore events to their proper course!

The original print edition of this module included scratch-off character sheets! This PDF edition includes a PDF of that sheet, plus a special separate file that allows the judge to randomly generate up to 10 pregenerated characters which can be used to simulate the scratch off aspect.

Get It Here!

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