Gems for Death
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:50 pm 
 

Is this a playable module? I have a shrinked copy, so it is impossible for me to evaluate it. I read through Plague of Terror yesterday, and while the plot is OK, I didn't feel very inspired by it. If Gems is along the same lines, I'll just sell off the whole Companions series; if not, I'll probably crack the shrink (gasp!) and check it out.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:33 pm 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:Is this a playable module? I have a shrinked copy, so it is impossible for me to evaluate it. I read through Plague of Terror yesterday, and while the plot is OK, I didn't feel very inspired by it. If Gems is along the same lines, I'll just sell off the whole Companions series; if not, I'll probably crack the shrink (gasp!) and check it out.


Gems for Death is a sequel to the Companions module "Streets of Gems".  They both deal with a town that "isn't quite what it seems" where a hidden slaver ring is run in the town without most of the inhabitants being aware of it.  They are quite like the format of Plague of Terror, Curse over Hareth, and the others in the line in that they describe a convoluted plot, very descriptive and detailed bad guys, and have a timeline that goes forward no matter what the characters do.  FWIW, I liked these better than Plague of Terror, but if you didn't like Plague this is somewhat more of the same.

The "Places of Mystery" set is quite different and may be more what you're looking for, Frank......lots of interesting and unusual locales described with generic stats for use as "plug in" to any campaign.

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:49 pm 
 

I can't remember Plague that much but Gems For Death is about a group of evil clerics and human sacrifice.  The main object is for the adventurers to stop a sacrifice.   There are temple and keep portions.   Encounters  include some undead as well as orcs and well detailed humans.   

Badmike is correct in his description of time lines and such.  

I thought this was great fun but difficult to GM.   I can't remember what my group thought, they were more hack and slashers,  but I ran all the modules so they must not have hated it or they would have rebelled.  

I loved the magic items and trap descriptions.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:20 pm 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:I'll probably crack the shrink (gasp!) and check it out.


Now you are talking! Just don't let that guy from Alabama catch you!


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:27 pm 
 

RalphPartha wrote:I can't remember Plague that much but Gems For Death is about a group of evil clerics and human sacrifice.  The main object is for the adventurers to stop a sacrifice.   There are temple and keep portions.   Encounters  include some undead as well as orcs and well detailed humans.   

Badmike is correct in his description of time lines and such.  

I thought this was great fun but difficult to GM.   I can't remember what my group thought, they were more hack and slashers,  but I ran all the modules so they must not have hated it or they would have rebelled.  

I loved the magic items and trap descriptions.


Ralph is right, as a matter of fact this adventure generated a little controversy at the time since not only sacrifice but child sacrifice is done by the baddies.  Wasn't there a review of this in Dragon magazine where the module was excoriated for dealing with such a subject?

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:13 am 
 

Thanks, guys! I think I'll just sell it and its companions (hee hee I made a funny!). I really don't know why Plague didn't strike my fancy; it is very well-written and VERY detailed. I'll try Places of Mystery and Alluring Alcoves as you suggested, Mike.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:16 am 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:Thanks, guys! I think I'll just sell it and its companions (hee hee I made a funny!). I really don't know why Plague didn't strike my fancy; it is very well-written and VERY detailed. I'll try Places of Mystery and Alluring Alcoves as you suggested, Mike.


If anything the Companions series suffers because there are few if any "monsters" in the modules....no gargoyles, hydras, bugbears, etc.  IIRC the only monsters really used are common undead and orcs.  Basically the "monsters" are the evil humans who think up the grand schemes in the modules.  I wouldn't run any of the adventures as written since I like a creature as much as the next guy, I'd probably stick a few in each adventure.  Since the adventures are so "monster-less" they would work well in a human-centric setting like Harn.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:50 pm 
 

I think I may have figured out my problem with it. I prefer barebones plots, in order to acomodate players' tendencies. I rarely steer players into an adventure, and Plague has a basically inalterable timeline laid out.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:03 pm 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:I think I may have figured out my problem with it. I prefer barebones plots, in order to acomodate players' tendencies. I rarely steer players into an adventure, and Plague has a basically inalterable timeline laid out.


Yeh, it's a plot train from start to finish....whether the characters climb onboard or not.  Could prove a problem. I've never run one of these exactly as written, although they did teach me a lot I used in my own dungeons (basically, to have things happening behind the scenes whether the adventurers get involved or not, instead of static plot elements that never develop or change unless the characters get involved).

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:53 pm 
 

Players do seem to go off track.  I think I had to let the girl escape and have her tell my players what was going on.   

The trouble with having things going on in the background is if you think it's a really good encounter or sub-plot  the adventurers might miss it and you have to lead them there anyway so you can see how it worked.   Especially if you made it up yourself.   I didn't want anything good I created being missed.

  
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