The Ghost and the Peddler is a short adventure by Benoit de Bernady for three to five characters of levels 3 to 5. It’s a charming adventure, which sees the players travel with a young apothecary through orc-infested lands, whilst a mysterious “ghost” plagues the travellers.
I very much appreciate adventures that have good characters, and The Ghost and the Peddler has several of them. There’s a depth to their histories and personalities that make them very interesting to DM or interact with, and that demonstrate life in the world when someone isn’t a wandering adventurer. Jack Flanagan, the apothecary in question, projects a charming personality, but it masks the grief he feels from his father’s recent death. A young noble boy, Oisin, who the characters will likely rescue from orcs in the initial encounter, offers the DM great opportunity to turn an initially scared boy into a good ally and friend of the players – and then to cause them concern when they witness the attitude of his family towards him. The explanation for the “ghost”? It works really well, and reinforces how well-realised the characters are.
This isn’t an adventure of arbitrary events; there’s always a reason for the latest problem that the group must overcome, and – something that I find particularly impressive – the adventure doesn’t dictate the manner in which the problems must be solved. There’s a lot of latitude here for the players and DM to make the adventure their own.
The adventure isn’t very long, with only a few events occurring during it; it is likely DMs will wish to lengthen the journey with the apothecary so that their characters and relationships with the party can be developed further. It is also likely you may want to continue the story of these characters later – they’d be excellent as recurring NPCs.
The artwork, editing and layout of the adventure are very good.
The Ghost and the Peddler shows that good adventures don’t have to be about saving the world or exploring an epic dungeon. Sometimes, good characters and interesting events work as well – and they certainly do in this instance. I highly recommend this adventure.