Thursday 16 February 2017

The God-Seed Awakens!

The God Seed Awakens is a 3rd level adventure written by Paul Wolfe and illustrated by David Fisher, Jason Sholtis, Mario Torres Jr., Rick Hershey, and Doug Kovacs (cover). Cartography is by Kristian Richards. The publisher is Mystic Bull Games.

Disclosure: I am listed as an Editor, and receive a Special Thanks for my "read-through and suggestions".

The God Seed Awakens strikes me as a massive adventure, although this is as much to do with the factions involved and the environment as it does with the number of encounter areas. There is a lot going on here, and judges who like opportunities to role-play should get the chance even if their players prefer the diplomacy of the sword.

The adventure includes a complete new patron (Shaloth), as well as the invoke patron results for Hecate, Goddess of Witches (from Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between). There are a lot of new monsters, some the result of the realities-spanning God Seed and others native to the PC's own world.

The adventure takes place within the Mount Welwood Cave System, which is pretty well described, making use of the three dimensional nature of such areas. When I ran the adventure, my players found some of the encounter areas were more tense because they had to deal with the environment as well as the monsters.

Conversation with the author informs me that The Stone God Awakens by Philip José Farmer was an influence on the adventure design, and there are definitely indications that this is the case. There are a number of intelligent species, for instance, and there is an intelligent plant at the heart of the adventure. But this is certainly not a dry revisiting of the novel; beyond these touch-points, the God Seed and the Stone God are very different beasts.

(Discussing this with Paul Wolfe caused me to locate a copy of Farmer's novel and read it.)

The description of actual cavern where the God Seed is located reminds me of a 70s black light poster...achieving much the same effect as the realm of Dormamu in Doctor Strange. Paul Wolfe does a great job of ensuring that the players know (or reasonably should know) that the God Seed itself doesn't come from our own reality. If they fail to understand that, there is an optional epilogue that can drive the point home...either as an actual even or as a vision.

This is not an easy adventure, and unwary explorers will be wiped out, most likely by Tuegel leechmen or their master before they ever see the God Seed. When I ran this adventure, I placed it in the northern part of the regional map from Anomalous Subsurface Environment (Patrick Wetmore). The PCs were sent there to fulfill a divine quest, having called upon the gods for aid. Meanwhile, another group of PCs in another campaign had called upon divine assistance, and were later sent across worlds to help the first party. They needed it; this is a tough adventure. In fact, the adventure is tough enough that I sent them into a converted version of Dungeonland in order to recover before facing further challenges!

There are some really fun encounters here, some because they are challenging and others because they offer the players opportunities to interact with the creatures through diplomacy, force, stealth, or whatever they think best. PCs can make allies and enemies. Mystic Bull offers a pdf of the Tokar class on its website, which is useful if you must replace fallen characters. Some of the encounters I enjoyed running the most are ones I haven't even described here, because I don't want to spoil the fun of others. There is a lot of meat in this product.

From beyond our dimension, a living seed has festered here for an aeon. Within it lurks the nascent form of Akavala, the Ravenous Tree, dread ruler of a shattered world and its carefully gathered and subjugated protectors. Two of these powerful creatures escaped into the underworld drawing champions and enemies from the complex societies found there. As the god-seed grows, the world creeps closer to its doom.

Get It Here!

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