Basic Game Adventure B5
Horror on the Hill
dungeon crawl, this module starts with a fully fleshed-out expedition through a
forest that successfully sets the atmosphere for an excursion into an ancient
monastery devoted to a dark god. Below the monastery lies a massive dungeon
complex filled with humanoids and worse, as well as the poor unfortunates
captured by the hobgoblin king who has claimed the Hill as his own. The dungeon
itself is filled with the sense of a place that is truly alive and moving
around the PCs. A great deal of care went into the creation of this adventure,
and it is a real treat to play or DM.
Realm Rating: 5/5
Foy, Around the Realm:
I know I
said I was going to do the Slaver's module next but Ray suggested this one as a
nice short game to follow up the epic Lost City (game04).
premise of the game is that you are at Guidio's Fort (I'm not making up that
name!) in the far East. At the end of the road for civilization. Across the
great river Shrill is the mysterious, fog shrouded, tree covered
"Hill". The Hill is rumored to harbor many vicious monsters, kept at
bay only by the vast mile-wide river. Many brave adventurers travel there but
none ever return. Sounds like an invitation to me! The game is for 3rd to 5th
through it the first time with my 7th level party, fresh from the Lost City. I guess I hurried
through it and finished it up fairly quickly. I found the game to be a huge
bore, just a bigger version of Keep on the Borderlands. Fortunately Dawn had a
lot of fun with it and kept mentioning things I had never seen and so I finally
decided to play through it again. For the second time around I picked an older
party that was 4th-5th level and I spent my time exploring every nook and
cranny. I enjoyed myself much more the second time around.
different kinds of things to hack! I just loved the little piranhakeets. There
are a wide variety of little beasties to kill from small to large.
large, interesting dungeons with little surprises everywhere. There is
certainly plenty to do. The forest feels very much alive.
events were well coded and I didn't find but one bug and it was at the end.
Some of the longer text events should have been flagged to wait for an enter
forest "walls" were well done so that there was no 'skipping' about.
rest/training event on the underground river was much appreciated and came at
exactly the right time.
* Some of
the artwork was well done, I especially liked the big pic landscape. The color
cycling lizards were very good too, a nice touch.
* I really
liked the music, very good, overplayed maybe, but very good.
Repeating text. What review from me about the Realms wouldn't include this
complaint? For my second attempt the first thing I did was go in and flag
several of the forest text events as 'once only' and most of the rest as not
requiring the enter key to continue.
hints from the old man. I had no idea that he would give more than one clue the
first time I played. It wasn't until my second attempt that I realized you
could keep going back to the bar and he would keep talking to you. I think it
could have been handled better.
* Big bug
at the end. If the party tries to return to the hill by going to the pier, an
old guided tour event takes over the party and ends up taking you outside the
fountain that increases or decreases the PC's attributes or hit points. The
intention is laudable, it was done in several Gold Box games going all the way
back to the infamous book in POR. Unfortunately this can't be done in UA. The
instructions to the player on how to accomplish this miracle of hacking is a
jarring reminder in the middle of your quest that it is, after all, only a
game. I don't happen to have a character editor and have no intention of
editing my characters anyway, even with permission from the DM!
ending. Very unsatisfying, although I don't doubt that it is the way TSR
wrapped up the p&p version. I wish I could have traveled back to the Hill
to try to find some of the stuff I left behind.
question... was the barbarian caves supposed to be so confusing. It had an
awful lot of guided tours and transfer events that caused both of us no end of
confusion. On my second pass I finally went in and turned on area view so I
could see what was going on.
my wife and I enjoyed the game. It was mindless fun with more good points than
bad. If what you want is a good hack-and-slash adventure, this is the game for
you! For our next game we went back to the West for the newly released Game19,
GA3 Tales of Enchantment.
the Hill, the third design I played, was much more like Keep. The wildernesses
and caves were done even better than in Keep, I thought, and though pictures
didn't show the locations of the waterfall or the 'compound in the distance,'
the text describes them very well, and the maps made a lot of sense to me.
fountain inside the compound interested me, as I've never seen something like
that in a design. Though I wish there had been more possible results of
drinking the water, the fountain's alterations were exciting. My elf fighter
now has a 21 dexterity! The game has several other nicely done areas: the
eight-door room and the last, grey cavern. Toward the end of the game, the
party can traverse a darkened passageway and cross a shaky bridge over lava.
Those were two of the best locations I've encountered in dungeons.
of all I'd like to say thank you for the effort you put into the Horror on the
Hill conversion. I know its probably not a correct choice to play after Keep on
the Borderlands, but it was the other module I remember playing - when I was
playing the pen and paper versions - and had big fun in process.
was not disappointed. Again a really great module. I actually have no
complaints, though I got smoked a couple of times by the ants. The only thing I
could add is that the ants and the kobolds were harder to take care of than the
final dragon - great use of those little buggers (The Kobolds, I mean).
thanks again for the Horror on the Hill, Keep up the great work...
All of the preceding
modules and game worlds are trademarked property of TSR Inc, which is now the
property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. I take no credit for the stories or
ideas presented here, I merely converted them to a playable format for SSI's
Unlimited Adventures game.