Adventures in Tethyr
by Debbi Rapp
Reviewed by Ben Sanderfer
Somewhat of a letdown in length, "Adventures in Tethyr" is a gold-box style adventure set in an area of the Forgotten Realms. It's touted as being an epic, but unfortunately it can be finished in about two hours without much trouble. But what it lacks in playing time is easily made up in the content of the game, and this is one module that seems to prove that quality is much better than quantity.
While it introduces nothing remarkably new to the standard Forgotten Realms setting, the little touches make parts of this module an absolute delight. And in the end, it's these little touches that make the whole thing shine.
Overall, the main plot is straightforward and somewhat cliché at times, falling back on the standard "go-here-and-do-this-for-me-and-I'll-give- you-what-you-want" method of discovering what's going on. At one point in the game, I was trying to find something for someone so they could give me something I needed, which was something I was trying to get for someone, so they could tell me where to go next...or something like that.
Toward the end, the combats can be a little tough on those who love punching into "Quick" mode, and you'll find that you cannot beat the final battle with that method. In fact, the final battle was slightly tougher than expected, and I had to fight it more than once, finally falling upon the right strategies to make it come out in my favor. That is something often hard to achieve with UA's limited combat AI.
The art, while nothing I hadn't seen before, was fitting to the story. In fact, this module may have the most "shopkeepers" I've ever seen.
Let's review the ratings:
Not overly original, but well told and not at all hard to follow. Some of the side-quests were wonderful, but many of the NPCs seemed a little bland and somewhat like cardboard statistic cutouts. The objective was never in doubt, and unfortunately, no surprising twists or turns on the path to the end.
While fitting to the storyline, nothing jumped out at me as fantastic. The choice was good, overall, but that's about all I can say about it.
One thing I can say is that the combats were challenging at times, and I find myself rarely challenged by UA combats...and I like that. Also, the combats fit the setting, and didn't seem too powerful or too weak for the party to handle.
I didn't care much for the sound effects, especially in combat. When a party member missed, the sound was so low, I thought maybe my sound card was going out on me. And the "hit" sound was outrageously annoying at times.
On the other hand, the music was well selected, and showed up in abundance. The author certainly didn't neglect the use of music in this mod.
There were a few minor bugs, and at least one author "error." Nothing that really took away from the overall experience.
I really must give high marks to the little touches in the game. Some of them really make exploring the game a lot of fun. Had there been more of them, the game might really have been better.
TOTAL SCORE: 8
And I'll add that I hope there's a sequel some day.