Friday, 6 December 2013

Legacy of the Crystal Shard - not quite a review but close

Legacy of the Crystal Shard is the second adventure in The Sundering series of five adventures that probably, based on the relationship between the first and the second adventures, have no relationship with each other except that they are part of a series with an overarching name.

Yeah, I'm not sure how that works either.

The first adventure - Murder in Baldur's Gate - seemed to attract some good reviews but I found it to be not exactly my cup of tea. Legacy of the Crystal Shard, however, simply rocks.

Here's Mike Schley's art-like map of Icewind Dale as it appears on the DM's screen that comes with the adventure:
Obviously, WotC is putting a lot more effort into the maps for Next that they did with the world map that accompanied 4E's Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, but I digress....

Legacy of the Crystal Shard (unsurprisingly) builds on the events of the novel The Crystal Shard, the first R A Salvatore novel featuring the drow ranger Drizzt and, even if you are like me and NOT a fan of the other 20+ Drizzt novels, this one is still worth reading. Legacy is also designed, at least in part, by R A Salvatore and I am left with a feeling that he is clearly still a fan of his creation Icewind Dale.

This is a marvellous sandbox with a lot of potential for expansion, particularly if you grab Dragon 429 and use the History Check: Dark Arrow Keep article by R A Salvatore (that name again) to inspire a potential orc threat to Icewind Dale plus add the adventure King of the Wolves from Dungeon 220 as an expansion of the adventures that come with Legacy. That's definitely enough material to run a 4E campaign for the full Heroic Tier.

While I already have my own ideas for a winter-flavoured campaign, I am tempted to use Legacy of the Crystal Shard to introduce new players to the Realms, after first getting them to read The Crystal Shard for some background flavour. And with the 100+ year gap between the novel and the adventure/campaign, none of the plot will be spoiled by having the players read the novel. Frankly, this is where the 4E time jump really helps.

Many of the old locations from the novel are revisited in Legacy and even the white dragon Icingdeath makes a comeback of sorts. Yeah, this is probably too tempting not to run.... :)

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