Beggar's Review: House on Hangman's Hill
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:28 pm 
 

House on Hangman's Hill
Judges Guild Stock # 670
Author: Jon Mattson
Publishing Date: 1981, Pages: 32 (counting covers) (one print only)
Approved for use with AD&D Rules

http://www.acaeum.com/jg/Item0670.html

First: the House was designed to fit inside or very close to an existing town, or Village, so no wilderness maps are included, and really not needed.
It is assumed the party will start in town or outside the front door of the house.
However; the house can be placed almost anywhere the Judge (DM) wants to put it.

Second: This is a straight forward Haunted House scenario and town encounters (Judges setup dependant of course) will let the players know this and can give some backstory for the house as well.
The forward indicates that the adventure is recommended for a well-balanced party of 6 - 3rd or 4th level characters.
Lower level PCs should do fine if run by experience intelligent players.

Third: this is NOT a hack and slay adventure... quick thinking might be the players best chance to survive.
Not everything in this adventure was meant to be attacked, but the items/monsters will all oblige if the PCs want them to do so.

There are plenty of covered/concealed traps, wanderings monsters are not very common, but certainly possible and some of them are outdoors at the start of the adventure.
(and/or between rest periods if they go back to town)

Some advanced prep work by the Judge (DM) is needed especially for the Wondering Monster tables (Monsters listed with no stats)
There are three wondering monster charts provided (roll a d100).
Outdoor Chart
Indoor Chart (treat as level 3 dungeon)
Undead Sub-Chart (this one is used only if you roll high using the d100 on one of the other two charts).

All three of the charts are for NIGHT time encounters.
For daytime encounters the author suggests using the normal AD&D charts for outside and (daytime) inside the haunted house there will be no wondering monsters, or (probably) any other activity for that matter....
Its a haunted house, where things go bump in the night, and are usually nowhere to be found during the daytime.

One last specific note: The Well outside the house is special in that at night it is enchanted.
Anything touching the water will change slightly, including creatures/people/items.
There are several charts at the back of the book to roll the results.
This only happens three times per night (Maximum).

___________________________________________________________

I ran the adventure with two of my grandkids a few weeks ago and it took two sessions for a total of about four hours real time to complete.
I think older more experienced players could do it all in far less time, or more, depending on what they do of course.
The PCs stopped at one point to rest and recover overnight for one 18 hour period.
By going back to the Inn in town; and while in town they also restocked, purchasing 3 additional healing potions and selling the treasure items they had already collected and could not use.

The two players (7 years old and 12 years old) were running 3 PCs and I was running an NPC Cleric as the Judge (DM) using two Fighters (Dwarf, and Half-Elf) and one Thief (Elf).
Later on (second session) my oldest grandson (15 years old) helped out by running the Thief, still only 4 Characters.
The PCs were all 4th level (Cleric was 5th level), the scenario was run using the AD&D 2nd Edition rules with minor house rule variations.

All the PC's had a single magical weapon (One or Two bonus) before entering the mansion, the fighter's had magical chain mail (+1) and (at the start) all of them had a single use healing potion (regular strength).
The Cleric also had a scroll with several spells on it (including Neutralize poison).

I think I may have made it too easy on them, but they had a lot of fun anyway.
Worst moment:
The 12 year old (granddaughter) was running a female Fighter (Half-Elf) and she almost died from sipping poison (Room 26: item #4 - trying to taste test an unknown liquid).
Luckily the NPC Cleric had a scroll with Neutralize poison but she did not know this and ran downstairs crying (REALLY) before the Cleric NPC could cast the scroll spell.
Had to take a break and pull out the Ice cream after that episode...  :P

Other than that, they pretty much kicked buttocks all over the place.
The only places they had me worried about a possible TPK, was facing the big baddy upstairs, though the Half-Elf lost a level to the Wraith (She said I was picking on her character) and the Gargoyle was tougher than even I expected (terrible rolls by the kids and great rolls by the monster).  :twisted:
The Illusion Plant later on also did some damage, as only one PC made the save...

The Werewolf also infected one of the PCs... but don't tell him that... it might be interesting to see a Dwarven Werewolf roaming the countryside... :lol:

With a few slight hints from the Priest they not only survived the main scenario encounter but got some extra XPs from brilliant thinking.

The Beggar highly recommends this one as being a lot of fun from both sides of the DM Screen.
The Adventure can be completed in one session (3-4 hours) fairly easily, especially with experienced players.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM


Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:13 am, edited 5 times in total.
  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:37 pm 
 

Thanks, Gnat!  Very interesting.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:31 am 
 

Hey Gnat,

Great review!

I hope your granddaughter doesn't run into the same problems when you get around to GMing them through Tegel Manor. :)

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:23 am 
 

Should I start making these stickies :)
Or maybe just one thread with links to all of these review threads :idea:

At any rate good review.

ShaneG.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:34 pm 
 

A reviews strand has been long overdue on all three major sections of the Acaeum.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:46 pm 
 

I added the top part of my first post in this thread to the "JG Modules/Adventures: Level Guide" stikie above... in a new post to that thread.

Otherwise; I think one stikie/thread with links to reviews would be awesome actually.
And I agree that one for each major major section of the Acaeum would be a great addition to the Acaeum in general.

Overall, (other than the aforementioned stikie above) I think I have posted around ten book/scenario reviews in all for more than just Judges Guild products though.
And those are spread out over years in several Acaeum Forum Board archives.
Form Critic has gobs more reviews hidden away unseen in the archives of the various Acaeum Forum Boards.
I am sure that others have posted a lot of product reviews as well.

More I think on it, the more I like your Idea.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM


Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:08 am 
 

Alright have created the sticky, now just need others to find the reviews.
Will probably have to either pm me or hijack this thread as I've locked the review one.

ShaneG.


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