IFReviewed by Pat Hurst on 2006-05-06 01:38
MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: WEAR, PAY
Special Features: not exactly
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer's Rating: 5
Description: You received a letter from a friend stating he was in big trouble. On his way to visit you, he was riding through the province of Darland when he was stopped by the forces of the governor and questioned. He says he lost his temper and smarted off. Big mistake. This governor is somewhat of a tyrant. Now Jason (your friend) needs some gold to pay his fine and court costs. He asks you to bring some gold and free him. The fine and court costs are only 10,000 GP. And he says he needs to get out of here before he goes crazy. At the bottom of the letter are some little pictures that you recognize to be a code you used to use as scouts. It is a message that he didn't want his jailer to be able to read. It says, 'If you are going to try to spring me (rather than pay these butchers), be careful. There's a lot more guards than you think. It may be a better idea to be sneaky than try a full frontal assault.'
Comment: This adventure was troublesome due to a programming error. This adventure makes extensive use of embedded artifacts, which cannot be examined until the bug is fixed. (See Bugs & Fixes, this issue.) With the fix in place the adventure is much better. It has an interesting variation on a theme of infiltrating an enemy castle which seems to offer ways to reduce combat, but in practice I don't think that things happen in exactly the manner that John intended. I didn't notice much difference in the play when I followed the variation and when I didn't. Of course, if you are a dedicated hack-and-slasher, you can arrange to have plenty of combat. A weak character may have some trouble completing the adventure, but an intermediate or stronger character shouldn't be taxed too much. The adventure isn't too long, and much of it is superfluous to your task. There are a few typos and grammatical errors, but not so many as to be overwhelming. The hardest puzzle to solve is how to get into the castle at the start. Program recognition of synonyms at this point would have been helpful. This adventure is in John's typically humorous vein (i.e., emphasis on bad puns) and has one of the all-time classic monster names, Sir Render. I would say that it's a fairly average example of a 6.0 adventure. Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.