6 Feb

Review: Tim Kask’s Curse of the Weaver Queen

Eldritch Enterprises LogoCurse of the Weaver Queen is Eldritch Enterprises’ latest adventure meant to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by Tim Kask, the writer of the Snakeriders of the Aradondo (reviewed here in January), Curse of the Weaver Queen holds to his philosophy of constructing an adventure around the fact that every group has a different style of play. The GM who runs it is expected to tweak it to the tastes of his gaming group.

A dungeon crawl that embraces Eldritch Enterprises’ typical old-school feel, Curse of the Weaver Queen can be integrated into virtually any campaign with one or two simple hooks. The cover identifies it as “a remarkably deadly adventure for 5 – 7 players of moderate level” and I would agree with that assessment. I do believe it can easily be modified, based on the system you adapt it to fit, to adjust for more or fewer players, but the GM should keep the danger level in mind (especially when reducing the number of players).

Setting Curse of the Weaver Queen in a World

Curse of the Weaver QueenAlthough both adventures were written by Tim Kask, Curse of the Weaver Queen presents several pleasant similarities along with a few interesting contrasts to Snakeriders of the Aradondo. First, both adventures are set in the same world, the foundation of Tim’s home campaign, and I think the modules help to illuminate that world and become more enjoyable as more of its background is presented. This also aids in continuity if you are running these adventures (and others by Kask in the future).

The overall presentations are also similar with monster stats shown “in-line” as well as being duplicated in a bestiary section. At the risk of repeating myself to those who have read my reviews of other Eldritch Enterprises products, the stat block offer a means to adapt each creature to the system you intend to use. As a result, a bit of preparation (involving some math) is called for before you bring the players to the table. The more you work with the system, the easier it is to adopt, but it bears noting this necessity if you intended to download the adventure and run it immediately.

Unlike Snakeriders of the Aradondo, Curse of the Weaver Queen does not have a sandbox-style wilderness adventure leading up to the dungeon areas. I know for some that is a positive, for others it is not. Personally, my preference varies based on my needs. In the case of Curse of the Weaver Queen, generic hooks set the story, but the adventure begins at the dungeon’s entrance and it is left to the DM to determine how far, and how difficult, the journey will be. I will also add that the look of the maps has improved some over previous offerings but still maintain the “old school” appearance.

Curse of the Weaver Queen (with Spoilers!)

The dungeon incorporates several excellent roleplaying opportunities for those players who don’t simply take a longsword to everything they encounter. The Curse of the Weaver Queen actually has an interesting story and players who stay their hand when confronted with the “villain” have an opportunity to pursue a different course of action beyond just “kill her and take her stuff!” But, without saying too much, only half of the Weaver Queen might be on board with their plan…

Another nice addition to the adventure is a portal system that leads to the partial ruins of other temples beyond the one the party initially encounters. Not only does this flesh out the cult more in the sense that they are a world- or even plane-spanning organization, but opens up the opportunities for the players to travel far and wide based on what the GM has in mind. There are also a few interesting magic items found in the temple ruins, detailed in an appendix, that will surely make great prizes for the adventurers who survive long enough to collect them.

Final Thoughts on Curse of the Weaver Queen

I admit Tim Kask’s style of leaving room for the GM to make his own mark on the adventure by not pursuing every “what if” in an adventure is probably not for everyone. GMs that prefer every detail spelled out and at the ready in the pages of an adventure might not click with the style of Curse of the Weaver Queen. But, other than potential stylistic differences (for some) my only criticism revolves around a few errors that should have been caught in proofreading. Those typos are nothing that disrupts the adventure, though, and certainly nothing that should dissuade an interested buyer.

I think fans of Eldritch Enterprises’ previous offerings will be more than pleased with Curse of the Weaver Queen. Fans of the old school that have not already discovered Eldritch Enterprises would find this an excellent introduction into their line. For those who build their campaign by setting hooks before and after each potentially disconnected adventure to tie them together will do well here and should head over to DriveThruRPG.com to check out Curse of the Weaver Queen.

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