Night of the Black Swords by Allen Hammack
From Allen Hammack, the author of classic Dungeons & DragonsTM adventures C2-The Ghost Tower of Inverness and A3-Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords, comes a "new" adventure sure to take you to places you never thought to visit. Night of the Black Swords is a gauntlet-style adventure that was originally run as the Official Tournament of CoastCon XII back in 1988. Available to the public for the first time! Includes the original tourney scoring system and 6 pregenerated characters. Fully illustrated by top fantasy artists Jeff Easley and Diesel. Old-school as it gets!
We just received this unsolicted review for Night of the Black Swords:
I would like to submit this as a review for Night of the Black Swords:
I am a GM who strives to make sure that my players have fun every time we sit down at the table. We give up large blocks of time in our lives, and, as GM, I want to make sure that time is well spent, and that none of the players in my group go home feeling like they had just wasted their day.
My “standardized” campaign began about a year ago, and I have had the pleasure of playing with a group who are new to D&D, or are returning after 15+ years of not playing.
Once the door to the wonder of D&D was opened for these new players, and ideas and new concepts about character direction and development began to float in their creative minds, the players eventually began to ask questions about the flip side of the coin, and asked for the ability to play as evil characters.
As a general rule, and from my own personal experience, I know that “evil” campaigns do not work real well. From my own forays into them, a true “campaign” never winds up happening, because by the time you are finished with the first 25% of the very first adventure, the players are already fighting amongst themselves, and it doesn’t take too much longer before the in-game PC vs. PC battles, and subsequent deaths, begin, all “sanctioned” by the phrase, “I was just playing my alignment!”
With a wonderfully devilish twist placed on a “standard” tournament module, Night of the Black Swords truly delivered a unique experience for both myself (the GM) and for them.
I do not want to not want to risk spoilers by going into extreme details, but I will give the following bullet points:
- The group was able to finish within the time allotted, a bonus for everyone.
- The pregens were able to give the players enough background to create memorable adventurers, while still making them “their own.”
- The encounters are challenging, but not “overkill.”
- The “gauntlet style” allowed my players to keep their eyes on the prize, not losing focus of the ultimate goal, but certainly allows a great deal of customization for those GM’s who want to add more.
- There were still opportunities for the players to “duke it out” between themselves, which they did, in ways to be remembered.
- The addition of certain personalities in this made it extra special and rare to me as the GM, for I am a guy who likes the lore and the stories behind things. To the creators, you can imagine the looks on their faces, and their utter surprise as they entered into the final encounter.
- The fact that it was written by Allen Hammack truly gave it an “old school” feel, and the Jeff Easley artwork was icing on the cake.
Simply put, it was a great adventure, summed up by one of my players: "Jealousy, in-fighting and ulterior motives drive pre-generated characters of high quality with interesting existing relationships and back stories lead to a highly charged, evil-themed tournament."
What more can a GM ask for?
Great job, all, and thanks very much for this gem.