Levees and Lists and Lots More...
The tricky thing about mentioning the 9-part adventure path Levee is that to say very much at all might be a bit of a giveaway. It’s crammed full of secrets and surprises, so sharing them now would risk exposing her finer more shocking points, and I'd far rather hear about how they went when they played out....
As you know, it’s an urban horror AP, taking the PCs from 1st to 9th level. As well as awesome, shocking, vile adventure, its core is ongoing and developing relationships – both with friends and foes - so in some ways it’s a little like the Skinsaw Murders (Pathfinder 2), but it’s steeped in things that I’ve wanted to run with before but been unable to do so until a whole series of adventures can be locked together under one festering theme. In many ways therefore it’s a symphony of ideas and shocks and strangely unsettlingly places, choices and moments.
There’s plenty of combat and lots of roleplay, and several ways of upping both depending upon your style of play. There are lots of cool and demented NPCs who play significant roles in the AP and a brooding sense of impending doom. It’s set across several months, with a strong background going on in the city besides the AP (although the backdrop does spill into the foreground a few times).
All I can really add, without giving the game away, is that I don’t want you to miss it; having control of a whole AP is a scary, serious responsibility but an incredible challenge and gives you so much freedom to expand upon ideas. I've soaked it in those ideas and flavors and shocks. Levee has lots of twists and turns, a beginning and ending I'm particularly joyful about (in a sick, twisted way of course), and lots of time to wander the crooked streets of the Blight interacting with a few of her locals.
I hope Levee will be the first of many adventures and APs set in the Blight, because as useful as any setting or bright shiny book is, it’s walking those streets (or perhaps running petrified, or dashing furiously, while clutching a big sword) with your friends that will make memories.
That first edition DMG still has a place at my side whenever I’m writing adventures, and the lists pages are now so frayed that they fall out whenever I open the book, they've been that useful. Lists are handy, lists can unblock a moment of writer’s block, they can inspire at a single dice roll, or add a flavor into a gaming session. There are lots of lists in the Blight Guide, with backstories, NPCs, shops, circus acts and many, many others. Here’s a short extract from one of my favorites - Flavors of Between and the Blight:
- You just saw flies come out of that man’s mouth
- The distant noise sounds like nails being scraped over a blackboard
- Momentarily, none of the street signs have any meaning
- When you glanced in the mirror something tall and dark stood behind you, but now you’ve turned around it’s gone
- It’s as though everyone keeps staring at you and looking away
- There it is again, the feeling that this is all a dream
- The steps up the side of the house vanish back on themselves somehow
- The same raven keeps following you
- You see a carriage hit a crib in the street and then both are gone
- The fruit on the stall is momentarily rotten and alive with flies and maggots
- The line of mourners are all smiling as they follow the casket
- In amongst the cart full of pigs being taken to slaughter you can hear a baby crying
- You get the feeling something bad is just about to happen
- A babe in swaddling clothes falls from a high window but as it drops it becomes falling leaves which drift away
- In a window, moths are being burnt alive by the lantern flame
- From the corner of your eye you see a long-dead dog chasing a cat
- The front of the building swells pregnantly
There are 83 more, but we haven't space today and anyway, I'd like them to be surprises.
And sorry, but we haven’t had time today to mention Sister Lyme, the Leper King, Justice Lady Lucrezia Elisabeth Sullage a.k.a. the Grand Seamstress, or Longnight, Loyalty Adventures, the Lyme Walrus, Lord Shingles…