Review: Rite Publishing – Adventure Quarterly #4 (Pathfinder)

RPC-Review-Banner


Adventure Quarterly #4
Adventure Quarterly is an epic fantasy magazine for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by T.H. Gulliver, Agoston Petz, Bret Boyd, Creighton Broadhurst, Steven D. Russell, and Robert N. Emerson and published by Rite Publishing.
By Cape Rust
RP-Adventure-Quarterly-4

Learn more about Adventure Quarterly #4 here
Purchase Adventure Quarterly #4 here
Find other Adventure Quarterly products here

Adventure Quarterly continues to feed hungry gamers with regular installments of modular pre-made adventures or adventure situations that will please almost any gamer. The fourth issue of AQ maintains the high standard that the other three issues have established, maintains, but does not supersede. This product is 85 pages of usefulness, especially if you are the type of GM who loves to have a few pre-made adventures in your hip pocket in case your players do what they always do, which is go where they shouldn’t and never meet the people you want them to meet or go the places you have lovingly spent the better part of two weeks mapping out. This issue contains three adventures, one including Ratfolk, another that creates clones of the party’s player characters and a ghost story. Followed by these adventures is one of Creighton Broadhurst’s Dungeon Dressing series where he gives us 100 entries dressing up and having to do with doors. The final product in this installment is a wide-open sandbox description of an anywhere setting called the Dam War.

I normally start with the physical aspects of Rite Publishing’s products and I can’t see where this product should be any different. The cover art looks horrible digitally. Because of the colors used, the Ratfolk depicted on it is like a brown blob. I had to look really hard to determine that it was actually a Ratfolk. I think this is just another case of stock art gone bad, but that seems to be par for the course for Rite Publishing. Other graphics did much better on the interior of the book and while they were not top notch, the maps were useable for the GM. I would have loved to have seen a map that was player friendly. Rite Publishing has included them in the past and there is no reason they shouldn’t do it in the future. The layout and the page borders are almost a foregone conclusion for Rite Publishing; they have figured out what Rite Publishing looks like and have stuck to it.

Now let’s get to the meat of the matter: the adventures. The first adventure is actually part of the ongoing Questhaven series that takes place in a town run by adventurers. Like an older, well known adventure that takes place under a mountain, this dungeon is released as levels. The first level of this crawl was released in AQ #2. I like the idea of having the levels released in different issues, however they should be in consecutive issues and I hope they will all be combined into one product for ease of use later on. I have always liked Ratfolk and it is good to see Rite Publishing using them. The whole adventure felt a bit Shakespearean, but it worked.

The next adventure of the three was essentially a ghost story/horror dungeon crawl. I was disappointed at first as I thought “oh great another haunted mansion, just what I need” until the drow got thrown in, then things got really interesting! Add a vampire lord and a moral quandary and Legend of the Huntress went up a few notches in my book.

The last adventure, Self Determination, was by far the most original and innovative. The PCs wake up nude and in a strange place. The beginnings of modules don’t start out much better than that. This isn’t the first or last time something like that has or will be done, but Bret Boyd did it so well. Not only is the adventure awesome, it leaves so many doors open for the future of these not-quite-the-PCs. I really enjoy situations where the players get a chance to be separated from their equipment. Gear is fun, but it is great to see how players overcome obstacles and adverse situations without all of those wonderful toys.

The Dungeon Dressing section was useful, well thought out, and that is exactly what it was meant to be. You can only describe a % chart so much. But in typical Raging Swan Press fashion, the entries will make any GM’s doors feel real and alive. The sandbox entry is one of those tools that I can’t get enough of. I do love pre-made adventures, but I crave really good pre-generated ideas. On just my first read through, I had three possible places I could insert the ideas presented into my current campaign, and at least five ways I could build an awesome adventure on this foundation.

As I expected, I not only found this product enjoyable, but useful as well. Products like AQ not only pay homage to magazines of the past, but they are really good to keep in that DM tool box to deal with or make more interesting situations you might not have planned for. I doubt Rite publishing will stop their miss-use of stock art or poor decision making when it comes to what concepts they apply it to, but even that should not deter people from an outstanding product.

Share this post:

Related Posts

2 Comments

  1. Rite Publishing says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do a review, I would like to point out an error in your assumption, The front cover is original custom art by Gennifer Bone. http://razielart.deviantart.com/gallery/?catpath=/

    The covers for Adventure Quarterly are always original art (the interiors do use stock art, as the sales don’t support all original artwork at this time).

    Steve Russell
    Rite Publishing

  2. Cape Rust
    pemcorgi69 says:

    I want to Formally apologize for claiming that the cover art for adventure quarterly #4 was stock art as Mr. Steve Russell pointed out it is original art by Gennifer Bone who’s work can be found @ http://razielart.deviantart.com/gallery/?catpath=/ and that all AQ cover art is original. I still feel that a cloak other than brown would have made the art work feel less like a brown blob, but at RPC we try to be accurate in our reviews. So to Gennifer Bone, Steve Russell, Rite Publishing and the entire RPC community I say Mea Copa.

Leave a Comment