The second adventure from Save vs Boredom is a horror/mystery adventure for second tier (levels 5-10) characters. Entitled The Tiger’s Song, it has the adventurers being forced to help a hag who has stolen the soul of one of their number, and being transported to a distant city to do so.
Some players and DMs might balk at the unavoidable nature of the hook, and especially its consequences (without a soul, the character can’t be raised). I don’t mind having such strong hooks, and it gives a nice impetus for the players.
The action takes place in the Feathered City, a trading city in the Far East. The use of a magic portal allows any group to participate (they don’t have to be already in the area). Once there, events tend to overwhelm the party as they find enemies setting ambushes for them and their primary ally in the city is murdered. It’s an ambitious adventure, and presents a number of “milestone” events that provide a potential path through the adventure, while also having a number of optional encounters that are triggered by the players’ actions. Appendices give details on the major NPCs and locations in the adventure.
The layout of the adventure is not always good at presenting information in a readily accessible format. This is not surprising given the difficulty of writing city adventures and investigations in particular. I feel the adventure suffers from having not enough information on the city. It should be a wondrous place, but it doesn’t seem properly exotic; many of the encounters could happen in any generic (western) city. There are glimpses of a more complex structure, but they mostly remain unrealised in this adventure. The encounters are good and allow the DM to cause the players more than a few moments of anxiety.
There are a few editing mistakes in the adventure – such as the consistent use of “coutal” instead of “couatl” – but nothing too problematic. What irritated me the most was the lack of any maps of the city, or of any of the encounter locations.
Ultimately, despite the adventure being perfectly playable, it seems that it needs another round of development. The DM will have to do some work to properly make this adventure soar, but the basic structure is there.