The Price of a Soul
Ever since Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus was published last September, roleplaying in Hell has been gaining more and more souls. And why not? Hell has a lot going for it: apocalyptic landscapes, scheming devils, tortured inhabitants. I guess that doesn’t sound all that unlike some places on earth. But, nonetheless, traipsing through Hell can be a lot of fun and Micah Watt of Pyromaniac Press wants to lead you there in The Price of a Soul.
This adventure follows a previous adventure called Temple of the Opal Goddess that Micah published over three years ago. You don’t need to have played—or have knowledge of—that adventure to run this one successfully. Everything you need for a seamless experience is contained herein. That being said, I was happy I had the older one for reference. I share that with you as a simple word of caution. You may, indeed, want to purchase both adventures if you’ve got the time to run both for a more fulfilling experience.
But as a one-shot, this adventure for tier 2 or 3 characters (simple guidelines for adjusting the encounters are in the module) still offers an immersive and challenging time. The characters find themselves, one way or another, in the service of Lashpera (aka The Opal Goddess). She ultimately wants them to recover the soul of her lover. Recovering Suthrain will earn the characters Lashpera’s favor, including a full pardon for any collateral damage they may have caused during their exploits. Failure results in the characters being eternally in Lashpera’s crosshairs and she will malign them for the rest of their lives if she can help it.
What I’ve come to know, and expect, of Micah Watt’s work is his detail. It would be folly for a DM to try to fully describe everything in this adventure. Instead, Micah provides a rich setting for the DM to draw upon (after becoming familiar with it beforehand) as needed when players are making their way through. In fact, a good chunk of this PDF simply describes the locations. Check out the description of the storeroom, for example.
I’ve seen a lot of mimics in my gaming days. However, this may be the first time I’ve seen one imitating a keg. But you can see that Micah has packed a lot of detail into an otherwise boring room. And I’m not talking about window dressing or fancy prose. A guard mimic is bad enough. But there’s also some potential espionage with the Harper and an attempted assassination going on here. Maybe it’s not as wrong of PCs to harass innkeepers and merchants as all the internet memes suggest. What if even just 5% of them have such treacherous storerooms as The Dark Delight does?
At any rate, detail of this nature continues throughout the adventure without becoming a grueling search-everything style session. There is ample opportunity for social encounters and combat as well. And a foray into Avernus would be incomplete without an infernal machine, amirite?
I want to hear back from people what they do with the one-ton Crawler! From its description, there certainly appears to be nothing you couldn’t do with it.
With its compelling purpose, the new magic items (and that machine!), and the flexibility to get into—and out of—the heat of things in any manner that befits the players, this is a great adventure to bring to the table. However, it leaves me wondering…what is the price of a soul?
- thorough notes on places, monsters, and NPCs
- professional layout and design
- nuanced characters with layers upon layers of motivations and machinations
- some of the DMsGuild Creator Resource art looks grainy and out of sync with the rest of the art