Review: Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk

So, in a time crunch and without material of my own ready to go, I turned to a pre-published adventure.  The first of three linked adventures, Dusk is the first of the Artifacts adventures.

My experiences with pre-published adventures is mixed.  Campaign books like ‘Ghost Cartels’ or ‘Year of the Comet’ back in 3rd I find are better investments, as it still gives GMs the ability to draw up their own adventures using a series of events in the canon universe, but adventure books are a little more static.  I ran ‘Bottled Demon’ years ago with some success, but ‘On the Run’ I was thoroughly disappointed with and hadn’t used a book adventure since.

Thankfully, Dusk is a decent adventure.  It certainly helps having some knowledge of the Shadowrun setting and having read the ‘Feral Cities’ book, specifically the chapter on Lagos, as the bulk of the adventure occurs there.  The adventure is challenging, even for veteran players, though accessible enough for green runners to participate.   There are opportunities to flex both social muscles and trigger fingers in the adventure, though I take task with the participation of a GMPC throughout the adventure, whom the adventure couldn’t be completed without.

One thing I was happy to see is that the core NPCs weren’t just pushovers.  Shadowrun Missions is guilty of this, but for veteran players, quite often the NPCs as written, are so weak that experienced characters can easily dispatch them before their relevance to the plot becomes evident.  The NPCs in Dusk were strong and skilled.

I liked the story arc in Dawn of the Artifacts as well.  It didn’t feel forced and aside from the exotic locale and better maps than usual (map drawing isn’t a strength of mine), it felt like any other game night (I hate railroading my players into a pigeon-holed story arc).

Overall, the book was well-written, the adventure was fun and the resistance challenging.  My main complaint comes from the GMPC God-character whose abilities and resources are the only reason the job can be done at all.  The game is about the PCs and they should play second-fiddle to a pre-scripted character.  I have the entire trilogy of adventures and will give the second one a try in the future.

~ by 1nsomniac on May 30, 2011.

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