Review: The Nine Towers

The third Kith’takharos adventure, Savage Worlds version.

At 84 pages, this is the biggest of the Kith’takharos adventures. Written by Dave Przybyla and Michael Galligan, and aimed at 4-6 Seasoned PCs.

CONTENT

The book begins, like its predecessors, with a colour map of the region, an explanation of how and why the authors design adventures, and an outline of the scenario, which has 10 events or encounters. The introductory fiction is quite a bit larger than in the earlier works. There are four different adventure hooks to draw in the players, depending on whether they played through the earlier scenarios or are fresh into the village. Personally, I think it would work better with a group of players who have already gone through the first two adventures.

Given that they are mentioned on the front cover, it’s probably not too much of a spoiler to say that this episode revolves around a vanished civilisation of reptile men. The PCs will cross swords with outlaws, investigate reptilian ruins, discover an interesting (if dangerous) way to move around the region quickly, talk to the undead, and – if they’re good, and lucky – recover a lost artefact.

The adventure has a linear beginning and end, but has some scope for free will in the middle. This is part of the reason the adventure is long, as descriptions of what the PCs find are conditional on what has happened before. (Also, there are a number of ruins to explore, rather than just one as in earlier installments.)

The GM also has a section explaining who the ruin-builders were, and what happened to them. This includes notes on their magic and floor plans for a typical ruin, along with detailed contents of each of the nine the PCs may encounter. I applaud the inclusion of a one-page cheat sheet summarising the location, purpose and properties of each.

There are six pregenerated characters in case your players don’t have any of their own, and a few adventure seeds.

FORMAT

At the risk of repeating myself…

Extensive use of colour throughout, which is not kind to my printer I fear. Full colour maps and diagrams; cream page background; green boxes for descriptions and blue ones for game mechanics; orange boxes for sidebars; pictures to use as player handouts.

Statistics for opponents are presented in a logical place within each encounter, and all the ones you need for a given combat are on a single page, or facing pages, so there’s very little page-flipping. This is a Good Thing and other publishers could learn from it.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS

There are a number of references to things (e.g. plants) explained on the White Haired Man website. I’d prefer to have these collated into a PDF file for easy download, and to be fair I understand the authors are working on this.

I’d prefer it if the PDF file used layers so that I don’t have to print the coloured background on every page.

CONCLUSIONS

This one reminded me a lot of the old Traveller adventure, Twilight’s Peak. I expect it to be much more exciting than the earlier two; watch out for the session writeups later in the year!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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