Rough Nights & Hard Days

The enemy lurks in shadows
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:25 pm

I wrote some thoughts on RN&HD on the 1E fans Facebook group that spilled out into a whole review. Here's the relevant bits:

Judging from a read-through only so far, I really liked this. It does feel very much in the spirit of the classics, but with modern production values and unobtrusively modernized in some other respects as well (see below). There’s plenty of horror, humour and dodgy pop-cultural references. Visually it looks very good. The art is excellent and well suited to the mood.

This module is – very enjoyably - absolutely packed with shameless fanservice. And I’m not talking about Countess Emanuelle’s dress. ;) Even at my first skim I spotted numerous call-backs and references to old (1E) stuff. My favourite here is how ”A Night at the Opera” is in part an unofficial sequel to ”The Oldenhaller Contract”, but there’s lots more.

Each adventure comes with brief notes on how to run it as a one-off, or worked into a running campaign, or as part of the mini-campaign. One thing I particularly enjoyed with the mini-campaign is how numerous NPCs and plotlines, unless killed/solved, turn into running gags over several adventures – such as the assassin with ever-new haircuts and the increasingly deranged witch-hunter.

I also very much appreciate how the NPCs from the older adventures have been made a bit more diverse with respect to gender and colour, without making a big deal out of it. (And I’m sure this will still annoy some whiny tossers. Good on C7. :) )

I do have a couple of questions and minor issues.

First, while each mini-adventure is open-ended, the overarching mini-campaign seems very linear. No matter who won the trial in scenario 2, scenario 3 assumes the PC’s patron won it, and so on. I appreciate that this is a built-in problem with ”adventure paths”, but it would have been nice with a few more nods to how things might have gone differently.

Second, I found a few odd continuity glitches that I suspect are editing errors. For example, ”Rough Night at the Three Feathers” is inconsistent about whether the assassin is posing as a member of the Gräfin’s retinue or as part of the inn’s serving staff (as in the original version). Since the former makes more sense and the NPC is detailed under the Gräfin’s party, I’m assuming the references to the latter are editing errors left over from the old version. Or am I missing something?

Similarly, in ”Nastassia’s Wedding”, Manfred is described on p. 58 as Nastassia’s _younger_ brother, while on p. 66 he’s said to be in his late 20s, more than ten years older than her. I assume the latter is correct and he’s in fact the older brother and thus the lawful heir. (Or does the Reikland practice male primogeniture? I would have assumed not, but I could be wrong.)

These are of course minor quibbles. I very much enjoyed the book and I look forward to working at least the first two episodes into my ”remixed” Enemy Within campaign eventually.
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You should make sure to pass the issues on to C7. And I agree with your assessment of the collection – looks really good, and tells some fun, warhammer-y stories.

I would maybe have liked to see some notes on each scenario with suggestions for using it in a bit more traditional manner. I get that Davis is going for a very specific style of play, but I think there is plenty of material here that could be expanded upon and maybe make the timeline-approach less of gimmick. Just a page or so for each scenario, with suggestions on how to pace the story over more than a few hours, and some locations to go with it.

Still, I am very pleased with this.
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